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Messages - RT

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I'm still stunned by this latest move by Getty, I'm trying not to let my emotions get the better of me and say publicly how I really feel about the company, however amongst all the speculation of how this will affect the future for stock photographers and why Getty have chosen to make this move I just feel the need to point something out to everyone:

FACT - Up until now legitimate bloggers and editorial picture buyers paid to use our images and we got a fee for them doing so, as of this moment that revenue stream is gone. If you sell your images through Getty you have just lost income.

Images you have on Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia et al will have been purchased and used by bloggers and online editorial buyers, that source of income may soon diminish.

We can only speculate whether or not an embedded link will create any future revenue sources.

Speaking personally and to other photographers that have ever taken part in any free scheme, this has never lead to additional sales.

Getty have mentioned ads on the embed player, they will receive the revenue from this, the photographer gets nothing. They've created a possible additional revenue for themselves whilst taking one away from photographers.

General Photography Discussion / Re: UK Printing Companies
« on: October 01, 2013, 17:34 »
As I said it all depends on what sort of quality you want and how much you're willing to pay, but that's the same for most things in life. Photobox are fine for what they charge.

And no from what you've said above there's no point in you converting your jpeg to a Tiff to upload for printing as you won't be gaining anything.

On a side note I'm intrigued as to why you shoot RAW and then convert that into a jpeg and not a Tiff, unless you do no further editing whatsoever in PS.

General Photography Discussion / Re: UK Printing Companies
« on: October 01, 2013, 11:56 »
Spectrum in Brighton ( are one of the best printers in the UK, used by lots of high end galleries, I've had many prints done by them and they are very high quality and reasonably priced. Photobox are fine if you just want a cheap print but there quality is c*@p compared to Spectrum. All depends on your budget and requirements.

Reading between the lines I get the impression things aren't going as well with the Getty deal as you'd expected, I'm not sure a blog post trying to convince buyers that they should now buy at Getty just because you're there will help that much, but I suppose you've got to try something.

5 / Re: New approach to Alamy?
« on: July 23, 2013, 05:11 »
I'm really not prepared to go into the fine mechanics of how my business works with an anonymous forum account. Sorry!  You claim to have many years knowledge of Alamy but but in reality I have no way of telling if you really have. Anonymity offers zero credibility in my eyes. Some of your misunderstanding of how Alamy works makes me question your 'advice' which I neither courted nor need. 

People with whom I wish to work are given full details before they sign a contract. End of conversation (apart from the fact that you'll no doubt ensure you have the last word...).


It doesn't really matter whether you think I have any credibility - I'm not the one trying to sell something here you are.

I've questioned a few of your claims and asked some counter-questions based on facts for which I've given examples, you've side stepped some of the questions and taken a defensive approach rather than just answer them, unusual for someone offering a service to others.

You say I have a misunderstanding of how Alamy works, and yet I've quoted directly from Alamy who I think everybody will agree have the best understanding of anyone (irrelevant of my personal experience) - here's a link to their site that explains how their search engine works, which includes the text I quoted in my earlier reply to you -

Maybe you've come to a microstock forum, with I assume (IMO) a belief that many folk here are naive of how the stock industry works, I can tell you that there are many here who have more knowledge, experience and success than you'll ever find in the ranks of Alamy. Having said that there are many that may find a service, such as the one you're offering, of some use - lot's of people read this forum and take great value in the questions asked by the more experienced members because we ask things they maybe wouldn't think of asking, so rather than take a defensive "I'm not discussing my business with an anonymous forum account" why not just answer the questions, give some examples of other photographers who sell through you and maybe be a bit more transparent.

Here's some transparency as I see it - You're an experienced photographer with a very good search ranking on Alamy, and now you've started an agency (you've got 14k images please don't 'big it up' anymore than that) and want to offer your services to people, which I'm sure will be useful to some - absolutely nothing wrong with that and I wish you success.

Good for him, all down to his hard work - I wonder if he's seeing his RPD/RPI drop like some of us due to a certain agencies actions.

7 / Re: Invitation to Join
« on: July 22, 2013, 17:01 »
I had one of these 'been following you closely' emails, on a web address that's not even connected with my stock portfolio - so even if it wasn't for the fact I know they're not worth bothering with I would have binned it for being incompetent spam anyway.

8 / Re: New approach to Alamy?
« on: July 22, 2013, 16:57 »
Hi RT,

Congratulations on your sales. You're obviously an old hand like me so you'll appreciate just how hard it is to move up the ranks at Alamy these days with 35m images in the mix. If a new entrant can get themselves where it took us three years to get (in the old days circa 04-08) then they deserve to keep 50% of a sale & get a medal.... :)

We'll have to disagree about the usefulness of the AoA stats and Rank. AoA shows us a snapshot (I didn't say "all") of the activity from selected clients. Interpreting this works for us. Also, the way we target searches unsing keywords is giving us sales growth of 30-40%. I'm quite happy with that and the way my business is developing. My contributors are making more $$ via us than from their own accounts. To the business savvy, that's what matters. Our Rank is great and stable and our own daily stats shows that a vast majority of searches hit 240/360 at most in views. If you're not up the front you're not being seen on the single/double keyword searches of that type.

You're obviously not at all interested (unlike a number of people who've approached us with good folios today) so I'll bid you good evening. If I can't impress you with a Page 1 Pos 1 placement out of 3.5 million for a single keyword search term like "Woman" it's game over for me, you win :) I'm not going to try and convince you and I don't have time for a forum "mine's bigger than yours" contest ;)

BTW, You're still misunderstanding "targeted search term" as *we* define it. None of our *keywording* targets the phrase "young blond woman". Because customers do not use it as frequently as other searches. We target frequently used customer searches and for those phrases we rank page 1 and "above the fold" as demonstrated earlier today.

I really can't put it simpler than that.

For interested parties: Approaches via the website links in the original post please. Happy to go into detail or answer Qs 1:1.  I won't be posting here again, all you need to know is above.

Cheers all,


Glad you're doing well, as I said earlier my point was to make sure potential contributors aren't being mislead by your claim to get them on Page 1 of the search results - I'm glad you've confirmed that isn't guaranteed.

BTW - You are targetting the terms I mentioned, whether you define it that way or not, because some of those words are in your 'essential' keywords for your images on Alamy. Again as I mentioned earlier be careful on basing too much of your statistics on what you see in 'All of Alamy', even Alamy admit that those results are from, and I quote - "Any signed up individual client who has spent over a certain threshold with Alamy." it's not as many as you may think.

Shame and surprised you've decided not to post here again as I'd be interested to hear your answer to bhr's last post, especially considering Alamy's Diversity Algorithm policy, if I was a potential contributor through you I'd be concerned that you'd shift all my best selling images into the pseudonym with all your own personal work in it, therefore boosting your search ranking and sales for the pseudonym containing your personal images, whilst the rest of my stuff gets 'edited' into another pseudo, it'd be good to have your confirmation that wouldn't happen.

If you do read this, as a suggestion why not give out details for some of the independent photographers who you currently distribute for, I couldn't find any details of other photographers on your site and your portfolio on Alamy doesn't list any names either (unusual approach IMO as most other distributors credit the photographer by name) so that others can gauge their success.

9 / Re: New approach to Alamy?
« on: July 22, 2013, 14:27 »

Re 1) I'd be interested what you mean by 'image placement' - as Alamy don't have any image placement schemes. Also the keyword stats you refer to are, I'm guessing, just based on the 'Your images' or 'All of Alamy' information that's freely available to any contributor. (edited to add - which isn't of much use anyway)

Re 2) That's a bold claim, are you guaranteeing a Page 1 rank for any work people upload via you.*

I'm just not sure what it is that you can offer of tangible value to a new contributor in return for your cut of their commission, what unique services can you offer to persuade a potential contributor to use you instead of one of the big established distributors or, better IMO, just upload there themselves.

*edit - Just had a quick look at your portfolio, I picked two images that are in your portfolio, the sort of common images that your target audience will be uploading via you, using keywords that you feature in the description of your images ('young blond woman' and 'black puppy') your images did not feature on Page 1 of the search results - Sorry!

Hi RT,

Taking your points in order,

1) By "image placement" I mean placing images in our pseudonym structure and moving them where necessary based on stats feedback. You're right there's no "image placement scheme" in effect at Alamy outside of Rank and the Diversity Algorithm which affects everyone equally based on their performance.

2) At the moment (and since about 2008 when I got to the heady heights of page 1 on a couple of my pseudonyms) you'd get a Page 1 placement for the 'targetted search term' if we keyword it properly. If we were to lose that Rank you wouldn't. *But* unless Alamy substantially change Rank past performance has shown we can get several images to page 1 for our targetted terms. There are no 'guarantees' of anything. That would be irresponsible. No agency will guarantee sales. We don't guarantee sales or search placement because Alamy could change that algorithm at a whim. But they haven't thus far. It's in our interest to do *our* half of this job correctly because if you don't sell, we don't earn either.

3) What can we offer? Not sure I can state it any clearer than I did earlier in the thread. If you're currently mid-pack, not getting viewed or zoomed for whatever reason and therefore not making sales, we can get you to the front, properly keyworded and having a far greater chance of making sales. We've done just that for our current contributors and they're making more sales and $$ with us than they did on their own. Plus it's non-exclusive so there's no risk of tying up images for years on end. They can continue with their own placements or place elsewhere etc etc.

Should be remembered that Alamy use non standard IPTC. Other agencies have keywording which is not really optimised for Alamy. They sell via weight of numbers. We outrank a fair few of them already. See examples below.

4) You just gave examples of a couple of searches, let me give you an example of our targetted keywording:

"Black Puppy": You're right we're not Page 1 for that keyword term because it's not the keyword term used by customers. However if you try "Puppy" you'll see that (on a Relevant search) we are Page 1 Position 1.

According to Alamy stats "Black Puppy" was searched for ZERO times in the last 365 days whereas "Puppy" was searched for 41 times. So we target the most common search buyers make. And to rank for a *single* keyword is much harder than for two together. Most searches are single keyword. Just look at Alamy's own AoA stats.

Same with "Young Blond Woman".  Only 1 search in the last 365 days for that combo so we don't target that and are not Page 1. However "Blonde woman" (note spelling) and simply "woman" are 9 & 108 searches a year respectively. For these we Rank Page 1 Position 1, 3 & 5 for "blonde woman" plus Page 1 Position 4 for "woman" (out of 3.5m returned results) on "Relevant" and Page 1 Position 2, 7 & 20 (plus others) on "Creative"... I'd say that was pretty good :)


Maybe I should have been a bit more transparent, I've been on Alamy as long as you, and by the numbers you gave I actually sell more from a smaller portfolio - I was making those points in general for those that are reading this thread.

As I said earlier the search statistics you're using are not that useful and as a seasoned contributor you should know that, you're quoting search terms based on the 'All of Alamy' which is based upon a very small number of account holders search information, the information is worthless, for instance do a few searches for 'London' and 'Olympics' dating from 1st July 2012 - the result 22, really,  you believe Britains biggest agency only had 22 searches in over a year for the biggest event this country has ever hosted!

At least I'm glad to see that you're not guaranteeing people a placement on Page 1, but it does beg the question what do you mean by this "More importantly, you get a Page 1 Rank via us" - 'young blond woman' is a targeted search term, and you don't appear on page 1 (by the way I used that spelling because it's how you have it spelled in your description).

I'm not denying that you've got a good search rank, and I'm sure if people uploaded their images via yourself they'd initially get a better placement in search results, but it's not the big issue you're making it out to be, and you don't have any 'insider' information that the majority of microstockers don't already know - and that is keyword accurately.

I wish you luck, but my advice to you would be to try and sign up as an agency for the likes of Getty/Corbis/Masterfile on a multiple distributor scheme (like Tetra or Blend) because then you might have something to offer that people can't do themselves.

10 / Re: New approach to Alamy?
« on: July 22, 2013, 10:40 »
In terms of why go via us and not directly to Alamy:

1) We do all the non-standard keywording, uploading, attribution, image placement, ongoing maintenance to keywords based on the stats we get re searches etc.
2) More importantly, you get a Page 1 Rank via us, if you go directly as a new contrib to Alamy you start mid-pack (i.e. you'll return down in the middle of hundreds of pages) so on the really popular searches you'll never get seen (a vast majority of searches don't go past a few pages tops). Rank (search position) is the absolute key to sales on Alamy.

Re 1) I'd be interested what you mean by 'image placement' - as Alamy don't have any image placement schemes. Also the keyword stats you refer to are, I'm guessing, just based on the 'Your images' or 'All of Alamy' information that's freely available to any contributor. (edited to add - which isn't of much use anyway)

Re 2) That's a bold claim, are you guaranteeing a Page 1 rank for any work people upload via you.*

I'm just not sure what it is that you can offer of tangible value to a new contributor in return for your cut of their commission, what unique services can you offer to persuade a potential contributor to use you instead of one of the big established distributors or, better IMO, just upload there themselves.

*edit - Just had a quick look at your portfolio, I picked two images that are in your portfolio, the sort of common images that your target audience will be uploading via you, using keywords that you feature in the description of your images ('young blond woman' and 'black puppy') your images did not feature on Page 1 of the search results - Sorry!


General Stock Discussion / Re: Earnings in June
« on: July 02, 2013, 15:42 »
Similar experience to Lisa, my download figures are significantly up on previous years but my dollar income is way down on last year and the year before - the result of the unfortunate fact that more downloads are now happening at SS and with a much lower RPD than at other agencies the future doesn't look rosy if this is to continue  :(

Hi Scott,

You're in the business to make money, I can appreciate that, as much as I can appreciate you're not going to make any non-factual committed statements, but it is decent of you to come to a unmoderated forum (to an extent) and engage the people here.

My point is I think it's a shame that you're launching Offset, selling images at $250 & $500 (and even without knowing what the commissions are I'm going to hazard a guess it's going to be a lot more than the 38c SS pay) funded by the money you've made from Shutterstock contributors without the ability for them to participate.

To be honest if I were in your position I'd like to think I'd be trying to do something to pay back the folks that made Shutterstock the success it is.

I think the difference is in the short-term vs. the long-term.   In the short-term, we're really focused on curation and shaping the collection based on my comments immediately above.   In the long-term -- and once everyone understands what this collection is really about -- we're definitely open to the idea of opening it up to existing stock photographers and contributors and our goal is to give everyone the opportunity to participate.  But that's a little ways off, so we'd ask for a little patience as we shape the collection.

"long to the idea of opening it up to existing contributors" - phew for a moment I thought you were going to come back with another noncommittal statement  :P

I'm not quite sure why you're promoting this new site amongst the very people that made you (Shutterstock) rich when they cannot contribute or benefit from it (except of course in the long term, future when you might, possibly, contemplate thinking about letting them attempt to apply, for the matter to be considered for their involvement at a level to be decided at a date yet to be discussed)

On another slightly off topic note, who's going to be running Shutterstock whilst you guys are curating and shaping this new enterprise?

An initial contributor FAQ can be found here.

"Offset images are independently sourced and do not come from Shutterstock contributors."

That statement speaks volumes!

I hope it goes without saying that in the "big picture" (no pun intended) we're more committed to our "core" contributors than ever before and we're also focused on creating additional opportunities for you.  For the time being, this new brand has a specific point-of-view and participation is by invite only.  In the future, we expect that every contributor will have the opportunity to be considered for inclusion in the Offset collection as we continue to maintain the outstanding quality that we have in our core collection. 

Quite a noncommittal comment, but are you saying that Shutterstock contributors will be able to put images into the Offset collection, and that the comment in the press release was incorrect?

That was Bobby Deal - photoshow - that Fotolia kicked out.

Thanks that's him, I had a complete blank.

I didn't know about your situation though.

Slightly /OT but I find it surprising than so many of the remaining agencies still choose to be incorporated in countries which levy such high corporation and other taxes.

I agree with gostwycks answer - staff availability and infrastructure. I don't think tax is the uppermost concern for any large company, a good accountant will "sort" that side of things out.

I can images some agencies would happily get rid of some contributors that slay them here in the forum.

That did happen with FT, can't remember the guys name (use to photo lots of girls not wearing very much), he gave his opinion about something FT had done and they kicked him off. I can't remember all the details but he didn't hold back on his opinion of them.

There's no right or wrong answer to an opinion question.

There is according to some people!!

Your pole doesn't really cover my reason.
I'm anonymous (to a certain extent as most people know who I am) here only because I know that sometimes buyers will search for my portfolio using the username that I use on nearly all the Microstock sites I submit to, same for others I have no doubt, a couple of years ago I discovered that because I also used my username here most of the search results on Google were posts I'd made here, if someone is searching for my username I want them to find my images not my idle ramblings on MSG. Hence I changed to just RT.

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 10:07 »
That was said tongue in cheek (I will not take your present away without due legal notice  ;)).

That's good thanks, I'm still wrapping yours!

I'm going to pull out of this thread now, I've stopped work for Christmas and only wanted to have a bit of involvement on the forum, I got involved with grafix04 because he answered my post, but now he keeps twisting my words and misquoting me so much that it's getting boring for all concerned. Add to this we appear to have a 'history' although I have no idea who he/she is.

FTR as he's twisted my reply above (once again) as I've said on numerous occasions in this thread I'm sorry to hear some are taking a drop and I've never said I support what 123RF are doing, and no doubt he'll twist this but if you read back my posts you'll see what I've said for yourself.

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 09:54 »
No other way now - CHILDREN! SHUT THE F*CK UP (OR NO PRESENTS)!!!  :o ::)

With all due respect we're just having a bit of mild banter, no rude words and with the odd serious question (certainly on my behalf) in the middle, I really do want to know why he and others who are so unhappy at 123RF just don't leave. So far you're the only one who's resorted to swearing.

Many people have expressed what I would consider as serious reasons why I wouldn't want to stay at a site, and yet they still are!

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 09:49 »
Is this you trying your hardest to be polite again?  ;D

Lol, suffer what consequences?  I dropped six microstock sites and stopped uploading to two in the last year and have just about doubled my income.

Sorry I'm trying to be polite, but if you can think of a better word for someone who describes something they really don't like but they continue to do it anyway by all means let me know and I'll use that word.

I have not suffered anything but you said you have and you will again with 123rf.  So who's stupid?

Again you've misquoted me, I'll forgive you because you mentioned earlier that English isn't your native tongue, I put suffered in "" which means I'm using that term because I couldn't think of a better one but I don't really mean it, I did also clarify that in the (). Just to be totally clear for you I am not going to suffer from the changes on 123RF
To be factual though you have suffered because you've mentioned your percentages are going to drop.

Glad to hear your incomes nearly doubled by dropping six microstock sites, it does however reinforce my question and really confuse me as to why you're battling on here about 123RF instead of just dropping them, and I'm biting my tongue not to call you ...........  :P

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 09:00 »
I work dammed hard to reach the levels I have, I admit I'm easily into the level to retain 50% but that's because I've done the work to get there,..

You've done the work to get to goalposts which were created years after many joined. When the goalposts are moved again and if you don't make the level you desire, will you say it was because you didn't work hard enough?

That's a very good question (makes a pleasant change). I'll give you my answer, sorry if it waffles on a bit.

FT changed the goalposts a few years ago and I was one of those who "suffered" (I don't actually think I've suffered) because they were one of the last sites I joined, I sell more there and have a higher ranking number than some others I know who joined them earlier on but sell very little, and yet that person could have a better badge. To be honest though I couldn't care less about which shiny little badge I have next to my name, it's the money I'm interested in which at the moment isn't affected.

If I continue to upload high quality work to FT but they decide to change their ranking just before I get to the next level, then no I wouldn't say it was down to me.

123RF scale is based on the previous 12 months credits, if I stop uploading there and next year I take a drop, then yes absolutely I'd blame myself for not doing the hard work

If you read back through what I've written earlier in this thread you'll see that I've mentioned I feel sorry for anyone who does regularly produce quality work albeit not in a high enough quantity to have maintained their 50%, however there's a few here that have moaned about dropping percentages but have then mentioned how they haven't uploaded there for the last year, to me they are just plain stupid, anybody who knows anything about microstock knows that in order to succeed you need to 'feed the beast', if you don't and you suffer the consequences, it is my opinion that you only have one person to blame.

I think the big difference here is that 123RF are basing their royalty rates on an ongoing sales record, at the moment they are the only site doing so, but I wouldn't be surprised to see others follow suit, 123RF did give us notice about this and we all had the opportunity to do something about it, some chose to do nothing and now are moaning about it - some tried and yet are going to suffer, I feel sorry for the latter group.

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 08:29 »
grafix04 & RT - just knock it off you 2 - get the Christmas spirit!  ;D

Sorry I should have known better than to offer an opinion, I just don't understand some people who like to moan about a site but do nothing about it, and I really don't understand why people like him are always looking to blame others for being a failure. I'll ignore him from now on. Have a good Christmas

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 08:23 »
Now Im going to go back to skipping over your posts because they're as crappy as 123rf's gallery.  Usually your babble is contained in the IS threads which I've learned to tune out since it's full of the same grumpy old men bickering about the same issues over and over again for years.  It's a shame your babble had to spill into and ruin this thread.  You've been talking the same 'shite' since the Talkmicro days.  You bored back then and you're still doing it.  I have never had time for you, let alone respect.

Wow a minute ago you claimed to not know anything about me and now it appears you've been stalking me for years, seriously I have no idea who you are and don't really care, I've tried to be polite throughout this thread but you're trying to drag it down to a petty insult match, I'm not getting involved in that.
I gave my opinion which is what these forums are meant to be for whether you like it or not, if you don't agree with me fine but I'm not going to enter into a childish insult match with you. Do what you what about 123RF it won't effect me.

123RF / Re: 2013 is here - how about the promisses?
« on: December 23, 2012, 04:32 »
The same reason you just commented about SS without being a contributor there. 


A little presumptuous and arrogant when you don't know how large or what my portfolio looks like, don't you think?

And yet despite me telling you earlier that I am on SS and 123Rf you still make assumptions about me, a bit presumptuous don't you think.

As I said earlier if you don't sell enough at 123RF or don't like the way they sell your stuff then just leave, and if they think they've taken money from you illegally then do something about it instead of just coming here with the 'boo hoo' attitude. I can't have any respect for somebody like you who states they hate a site so much but still has their portfolio there. And if I were a betting man I'd bet that you won't actually leave and that you'll continue to moan on and on about them whilst actually doing nothing.

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