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Stock agencies - but which one?


Camairish 9 1.3k Scotland
4 Sep 2008 1:54PM
I'd choose Alamy over PD any day - I've over 600 with PD and about 800 with Alamy and my Alamy sales are heaps better than PD (albeit still slim!)

Agree completely with Barrie Harwood - the PD rating system is ridiculous as are most of the photo requests - 80% are amazingly obscure - check out their site & look at recent requests.

I upload to Alamy regularly but have stopped with PD until they drop the ratings system.

Ian.

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User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2008 3:25PM

Quote:They are not demeaning anything. It is the professionals who need to adapt to give something that these amateurs can't if they are to continue to make a living. If they can't offer more than the amateurs, then surely market forces will dictate the value of their work. .

That's a very odd remark to make Ian and frankly has little bearing on things. You are saying that professionals need to adapt because someone else behaves recklessly (which is what selling through microstock is). Market forces are having absolutely nothing to do with the value of the work professionals churn out. It is being undermined from within the b****y industry by people with more vanity than sense.

Would you work for nothing - amateurs don't HAVE to sell photographs - professional photographers do. Professionals (i.e. those making their living from photography) have absolutely no problem with amateurs making money (it's how we all started) but what we do expect is for those amateurs to respect themselves, their craft and the profession as a whole and to behave in a professional manner and that includes putting a fair and reasonable price on the work they produce
4 Sep 2008 4:11PM

Quote:I'd choose Alamy over PD any day - I've over 600 with PD and about 800 with Alamy and my Alamy sales are heaps better than PD (albeit still slim!)

Agree completely with Barrie Harwood - the PD rating system is ridiculous as are most of the photo requests - 80% are amazingly obscure - check out their site & look at recent requests.

I upload to Alamy regularly but have stopped with PD until they drop the ratings system.

Ian.



Thanks for the advice, really appreciate it, gonna look into Alamy and Nature Picture Library.
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2008 4:17PM
No disrespect intended but you'll be extremely "lucky" to get into NPL. They only want the very best images that are different from the ones already on file.

They are one of the ones I was referring to who actively edit contributions so unless you have something they don't already have or have a new 'angle' on nature photography, they'll politely decline

If you are just starting, have ago at Alamy. At least the rates are fair and equable but as I said, before you go out shooting for stock or submit what you have, do a search on their site and see what is already there. No point in submitting that 4000th shot of a fox as I mentioned unless it's doing something very different (like macing a hunt supporter!) Wink
4 Sep 2008 5:06PM

Quote:No disrespect intended but you'll be extremely "lucky" to get into NPL. They only want the very best images that are different from the ones already on file.

They are one of the ones I was referring to who actively edit contributions so unless you have something they don't already have or have a new 'angle' on nature photography, they'll politely decline

If you are just starting, have ago at Alamy. At least the rates are fair and equable but as I said, before you go out shooting for stock or submit what you have, do a search on their site and see what is already there. No point in submitting that 4000th shot of a fox as I mentioned unless it's doing something very different (like macing a hunt supporter!)



Thanks for the advice, really appreciate it!!!!! I see where you're coming from, I don't think the rating system on Photographers Direct is fair.
Ian G W 11 396 3 England
4 Sep 2008 6:00PM

Quote: Market forces are having absolutely nothing to do with the value of the work professionals churn out. It is being undermined from within the b****y industry by people with more vanity than sense.



Of course market forces are relevant to the value of the work! Microstock supplies the market with a source of (sometimes) good quality material at low cost. Why would a buyer go somewhere else when adequate quality exists at such a price? The value is set by what is available in the market. As you point out in your later post, there is no point in submitting yet another shot of a fox (or flower, or whatever..)....the market is saturated and so the shot is of little value, whether produced by an amateur or a professional. A buyer can decide between the low cost option, which may do the job perfectly adequately or pay more for what could well be a better image, but too good for their requirements.

Microstock is improving all the time, and if that forces a reassessment of the value of stock images in general, then that is a good thing.

Incidentally, the 20 cents per image on microstock quoted earlier in this thread is well below the average values usually achieved per sale (note: per sale not per image!).
My modest portfolio of about 150 images on Dreamstime has almost 500 sales, with an average of over $1 per sale. My top selling image has sold over 30 times, and one had a single sale under an extended licence earning $30.

Nothing to retire on I know, but then I'm only a vain amateur getting some cash towards my next camera!


Ian.
Dave_Tyrer 7 64 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 12:15PM
I just cancelled with Alamy..had 350 images with them for over a year and made nothing( it's just too damn big IMHO). Made a number of sales with Fotolia and iStockphoto with only about 25 shots in each, but it's just not worth the effort at the end of the day with microstock...the only winners are the agencies or commercial photographers with huge collections. So I'm in the same boat and looking for new agencies to place my pictures with. I'v just started submitting to PD to begin with.
Sep 7 1.3k England
10 Sep 2008 1:00PM
Try sierrastock
I havn't sold a thing,but i'm new to stock photography and have only 40 images up.
Might work for you.
Joe.
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 2:32PM

Quote:Try sierrastock
I havn't sold a thing



That's one hell of a recommendation Grin
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 2:35PM

Quote:I just cancelled with Alamy..had 350 images with them for over a year and made nothing( it's just too damn big IMHO).


Frankly, you have far too few images. It's nothing to do with the size of the company or the fact they have so many images on there. In fact, quite the opposite. Where do you think stock buyers are going to look? At a site with diddly squat or a site with over 10,000,000 images? Smile

If you have the right images, properly key worded (and that is so important) you will sell.

If you want an honest opinion, if you give up so easily you'll never get anywhere in stock. Quantity, quality and diversity will make you money but it will only deliver over time.
Jools_jti 8 257 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 2:52PM
What are the benefits of having large numbers of images other than more to sell.

If one photographer had 3,000 average images, and one had 300 'spankers' (technical term), what's the odds? I guess I am asking, is there some sort of rising to surface filtering for large collections.

I completely get the quality and distinction of the image collection that adds to sales.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
10 Sep 2008 3:02PM
There is a chap on Alamy who claims to make a nice income despite having only 35 images with them!

But that is highly exceptional I think. Rule of thumb is 1 per image per year. Numbers do make a difference.
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 3:07PM
What is a 'spanker' though. I've sold a photo for 9000 USD that I wouldn't dare to put on my website or post on ePZ. It's technically fine (well exposed and sharp etc) but it's what I refer to as a 'nothing' photo. Clearly it struck a chord with a buyer (a recruitment company in Italy)

When I talk about numbers, it's numbers in combination with variety.

As I've mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is no point in submitting 3000 images on one subject but equally, there is no point in submitting images of a Red Fox or Big Ben etc. and expect them to sell well because quite frankly, there is too much competition and there are only so many variants on one subject.

Look for the unusual. Alamy even go as far as providing you with a tool to show you the searches picture buyers have put in with the results. Look for the low numbers. These are clearly the areas to fill.

Some people specialise in a subject. I know one guy who sells well with motor sports photos.

Just shoving up 350 photos and expecting to retire is just not going happen I'm afraid Smile
Jools_jti 8 257 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 3:14PM
I see, so, as you cannot possibly predict a buyer's brief, you cannot afford not to upload a perfectly good image, just because you don't see as a spanker Smile

Do some research, be original and don't filter too heavily. Disk space is cheap, missing that $9000 sale is not Wink
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 3:21PM
Exactly. Crap sells and so does unusual.

To give you an idea, the following have been searched for recently (i.e. the keywords input by a buyer)

Russia (returned 45,000 hits)
Adults wearing school uniform (returned 0 hits)
Automobile repair shops (returned 0 hits)

You need to think laterally too and to think of words used in other countries. How many photos are there of "garage" but obviously nobody thought to think of the American phraseology

In fact get a photo of yourself wearing kids school uniform whilst taking your car into a garage to have it fixed and you're made!

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