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Photo Library Wales

ash-sp 16 41 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:03PM
Hi All,

I've been thinking for some time about trying to get some pics accepted by a stock library. A lot of the photos I have are shots involving Wales in some way (as that is where I live!). The two librarys that I am considering are Photo Library Wales (PLW)and Alamy. I have noticed however that a lot of the images on PLW are also on Alamy showing the agency as PLW. Is it therefore not really worth my while trying to get images accepted on PLW if they are only going to get put across on to Alamy?

Also, PLW take 50% commision while Alamy will take 35% (blue system I think). I assume that this would mean even less for poor little me should I have an image submitted to PLW that subsequently sells via Alamy?

I think I may have answered my own question! A lot of people have experience on this site of Alamy, has anyone got experience of submitting and selling images with PLW?

GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
7 Aug 2006 8:13PM
If Photo Library Wales are worth their salt - they're likely to gain you sales that Alamy won't. That's one of the pertinent points when thinking about this scenario. Good specialist agencies have specialist contacts. Also, fifty per cent is by no means unusual - in fact it's a standard split.

Going with Alamy in this instance is not just a case of cutting out the middleman - there are a lot of long established agencies using Alamy as one of their outlets, but Alamy will only account for a fraction of their sales (or should do with a decent agency).

Of course it's a bit of a contentious issue when the photographer ends up with a very small fee for picture use because it's been split twice. That's been discussed amongst freelancers many times before.

Alamy themselves have the 'distribution scheme' which photographers can sign up to, whereby they vend your pictures through third parties to achieve more localised sales which otherwise would probably not occur. Again this involves splitting the fee twice (albeit with Alamy only taking 10 per cent I think), and sometimes means accepting very small amounts for image usage.

I'd hazard a guess that Photolibrary Wales are worth a flutter of a few hundred pictures. If the only sales they make are via Alamy, switch to Alamy (or supply both with differing pictures and see how they perform).
ash-sp 16 41 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 9:36PM
Thanks Glenn. I think I'll try submitting any of my pictures with a Welsh connection to Photo Library Wales and then any other pictures to Alamy. What are the normal restrictions on withdrawing your images from a particular library should you feel they would be better used elsewhere?
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
8 Aug 2006 4:52AM
It used to be the case that quite a long period of notice was required before images could be pulled from a library, but in days of old the process would have involved pulling slides from thousands of categorized slide pages in dozens of cabinets.

The process should theoretically be quicker digitally, although removing a lot of specific images from a website might require some notice.

I believe it takes six months to remove pictures from Alamy, as a guideline, but you might ask PLW for their terms and conditions prior to giving them a load of pictures.

I'd reckon on a good agency beginning to make sales for you with around 200-300 pictures, but that would be a figure you'd typically need to build on to avoid sales being very sporadic.

Finally, Alamy are an easier agency to get into than most, because until now they haven't studied content too scrupulously (which is going to change I think). Other agencies do take content into account when looking at initial submissions, so it's worth taking time to pick out your best pictures, both technically and aesthetically.
ash-sp 16 41 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2006 10:53AM
Thanks Glenn. Food for thought.
pgarwood 16 36 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2008 11:35AM
PLW are a very well known library, my only problem to date is that I sometimes wonder about rejected images. No regular feedback as to why an image is rejected. PLW like pictures that "will sell" but who knows what will and will not sell unless it is up there? One can only assume that the experience of PLW is that they have good reasons for taking an image but also have the market experience to realise what is not saleable. Interestingly I have rejected images by PLW that have gone on to sell elsewhere, so hawk them around to other agencies as there is no exclusivity with PLW. At the end of the day I guess it is down to the client base and often I am sure PLW has regular clients and they have decided that with experience they know what their clients want. PLW are fine to deal with in terms of payment. The proprietor is easy to deal with. They like images with people in them and their newsletter shows some stunning photographic shots that have been in very prominent publications. They deal a lot, as far as I can see, with a number of Government (e.g. Welsh Assembly. Councils) publications and tourist type publications as well as large corporate areas. Certainly give them a go, you will not regret it. I like to see why an image never made the cut but I guess that it might mean a full time job for PLW to explain why!! Other libaries sometimes say No! on the basis of "not saleable" for their client basis, and as PLW has been around a long time I guess we need to respect their views as they have the experience of time and business sales. Do try them I am sure you will be pleased with them.
Alamy? Do not know ?..........seem a slick operation...I am about to register with them and will be interested in their approach and response to images.
celyn 15 88 Wales
2 Sep 2008 6:50PM
I have pictures with PLW. No probs at all. However if you send them pics you already have with Alamy do tell them as PLW also submit to Alamy
dasantillo 15 231 1 Wales
4 Sep 2008 11:22AM
I have had several sales through PLW and only 2 through Alamy. The owner of PLW always responds to emails promptly and I've also asked him to handle an awkward sale for me before, which was done and I got my cut. One or two of my sales through PLW were sold by them through Alamy. PLW sell the most of my images of all the stock libraries I am with - I would definitely say to give them a go.

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