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shirley
28th September 2013, 08:33 AM
Has anybody here sold through Alamy? I am considering trying to sell some of my pics, I sense retirement looming and thought it might be nice to begin to sell a few pics, if only to fund my hobby. Following John's experience of summer fairs etc I don't think that is the way to go in the current economic climate. However, selling online seems a relatively painless way to make a few pounds.

As Alamy are a US company how does payment work and has anybody made any money this way?

Thanks for any advice or pointers.

Ian
28th September 2013, 10:25 AM
Is Alamy a US company - I believe it was started in the UK.

My understanding is that you need to have a very large portfolio of images to make serious money on Alamy. Also, the strangest of photos earn money while some of your finest may not!

Ian

Update - Alamy was founded and is based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, but has offices in several countries around the world and a technical centre in India.

StephenL
28th September 2013, 10:31 AM
I put some photos on Alamy many years ago, but sold none and I've simply stopped uploading. I have had more success with Photographers Direct, but unless you're extremely good, specialised, and lucky, it doesn't pay much.

David M
28th September 2013, 12:07 PM
There's very little money in it these days.

As for what sells, it's never made much sense to me. House Sparrows and Blue Tits were my biggest selling bird species. One thing a stock library will do is find markets you'd never considered.

Zuiko
28th September 2013, 06:53 PM
I've only had one sale from Alamy in several years, but I have only uploaded a couple of dozen pictures - not nearly enough! The sale was for about 24 and was to license the image for website use by a commercial travel blog. I have not yet received payment because Alamy only settle accounts for around 100 plus, so it may be some time coming! I keep meaning to motivate myself to upload a lot more, after all it costs nothing except time.

Haisbro
28th September 2013, 08:08 PM
I have been with Alamy since its inception and sell most months but the present climate has hit prices. A few years ago i met a photographer who was doing time lapse of the Petronas Towers, for him the writing was on the wall then and thats where the new niche was. Alamy have just started video and that is where i am going to spend my creative time as the fees are greater. I have sold images of my hand deicing a frosted car, park and ride sign, Tesco lorry in narrow street, taxis in Turkey etc etc.

David

Zuiko
28th September 2013, 09:00 PM
I have been with Alamy since its inception and sell most months but the present climate has hit prices. A few years ago i met a photographer who was doing time lapse of the Petronas Towers, for him the writing was on the wall then and thats where the new niche was. Alamy have just started video and that is where i am going to spend my creative time as the fees are greater. I have sold images of my hand deicing a frosted car, park and ride sign, Tesco lorry in narrow street, taxis in Turkey etc etc.

David

It's great to hear what does sell. Imagine a buyer entering the search parameter "Tesco lorry in narrow street," or even just "lorry in narrow street," it's amazing how specific some needs can be.

Nick Temple-Fry
28th September 2013, 11:56 PM
It's great to hear what does sell. Imagine a buyer entering the search parameter "Tesco lorry in narrow street," or even just "lorry in narrow street," it's amazing how specific some needs can be.

Well my top seller is a boring picture of a building, it's probably the worst picture I've uploaded to Alamy. Mind you as they are newspaper sales it isn't a great earner. But it's a building that's going to be relevant to news stories.

I also sell pictures of shop fronts and other business premises. Again cheap sales - but they build up your Alamy ranking so your shots show up early in the search results.

Good sales are rare, a book image will only get you 30 or so.

But you get the occasional nice surprise, I had a 600 (to me) sale this year of another boring building.

Quite frankly Alamy is stuffed with good photos of great locations. Mostly from us amateur photographers with small collections. Leaven your collection with some competent photos of shoe shops, magistrates courts and for sale signs (as examples). There are lots more stories that need them than there are requirements for a well worked study on autumn mist.

Payment, when it comes, is by bank transfer straight into you account. Don't expect it too often:D

Nick

Zuiko
29th September 2013, 12:06 AM
Well my top seller is a boring picture of a building, it's probably the worst picture I've uploaded to Alamy. Mind you as they are newspaper sales it isn't a great earner. But it's a building that's going to be relevant to news stories.

I also sell pictures of shop fronts and other business premises. Again cheap sales - but they build up your Alamy ranking so your shots show up early in the search results.

Good sales are rare, a book image will only get you 30 or so.

But you get the occasional nice surprise, I had a 600 (to me) sale this year of another boring building.

Quite frankly Alamy is stuffed with good photos of great locations. Mostly from us amateur photographers with small collections. Leaven your collection with some competent photos of shoe shops, magistrates courts and for sale signs (as examples). There are lots more stories that need them than there are requirements for a well worked study on autumn mist.

Payment, when it comes, is by bank transfer straight into you account. Don't expect it too often:D

Nick

Thanks Nick, some useful pointers there!

Phill D
29th September 2013, 07:51 AM
Shirley you might try asking Sponner for advice as I think he seems to have some success selling images. Not sure where he sells though.

Chevvyf1
29th September 2013, 08:18 AM
and Peter on here ... his member name I cannot recall ... but will think about it - he makes quite a bit from stock images.

Chevvyf1
29th September 2013, 08:47 AM
Red Bubble is quite good - maybe £300 a year from cards. Whilst there are many "Phoenix Card Agents" about selling locally at Fetes etc., There is a massive by post, bulk buy market - eBay is another market for cards - Elders buy "Notelets"

THIS led me to selling sets of 5 cards and one print for £12.00 - mostly flowers ... Elders like to change little pictures ... so the print is for their frame and they send the cards to friends :) most sales via "Trust Box" at our door/seat ; Church & School Fetes with free? stand! because I do some LETs (Local Exchange Trade Scheme- images for each to use :)

Best way to really make some money - get out to an event where you photograph a person doing their sport :) Everyone loves a GREAT image of them self DOING their thing :)

Some I have done these past 3 or 4 years ...

Windsurfing at Hayling Island Beach (tide in + great wind) not bad weather (you can even check on line by web cams :)

Kite Racing at West Wittering (tide out) ( again on line web cams to check before you go)

Motorbikes Early Spring/Summer meets - out with the NEW BIKE ... I do the A272 Meon Hut - it is sooo close to home ... I pick a point/backdrop and take some photos ... now it helps having a Ducati :) first year I gave away "Free" 4 x 6 prints ... but that created a WANT for more and bigger ... I have "Magnet Ad boards on my car :) and little card holders with TAKE one ... hanging from the windows ... NOW most do a Wheelie at the backdrop or lay their bike over at the corner I sit on ... a few cups of coffee and showing images on the Samsung Tablet ... walking about admiring their bikes ... and taking a few images here and their for a collage ...

and West Bay (summer nice Sundays up to 2,000 bikes of which 500 are NEW/First timers used to do the Daisy Run (Cancer funding 3,000 bikes) through the New Forest and the New Forest HOG (Harley Owners Group) in September 500+ polished chrome bikes in convoy with police escorts ... (for places "Meets" Motorcycle News weekly paper or online)

Most important, each May I send a letter to the HM Ins. of Taxes with "accounts" - so far its not ever been enough to pay any tax on ... I keep a folder of "Equipment and Expenses per Assignment" :) but it pays for a holiday or ???

this year, the FASTNET race has netted me lots ... and without the ONE I would have to pay tax :( ( each Yacht is registered at Lloyds and the RYA :) and I did give away quite a few small jpegs :)

of course "give aways" are a "legit expense of Marketing & Advertising" and all of the above projects take a lot more effort than "just uploading to a website" ... sometimes I have to get UP REAL EARLY ... for 4 am tides ... :( :( :( but I would not do it unless I did actually enjoy it ..

Next weekend its Horses ....

Chevvyf1
29th September 2013, 08:50 AM
Shirley its Pjphoto59

:)

shirley
2nd October 2013, 06:12 PM
Hi folks,
Thank you so much for all you thoughts and comments, very helpful and enlightening. I am sorry for delay in replying work has been manically busy and stressful meaning I have had little time for anything else.
It seems that for Alamy, and probably other sites, to be profitable it requires many I images of a specific type to be uploaded. Maybe something for the future but probably not now.
Again many thanks for your advice
Shirley

Melaka
3rd October 2013, 07:46 AM
The Daily Telegraph has Alamy photos in its business pages most days. As pointed out by other posters they are usually of the most banal subjects.

Magazines usually keep stock files and if you have a hobby for which there is a magazine it's an option. One of my best sellers is of a butcher's display in the Covered Market in Oxford. If you lwrite for the magazine press be sure to include your own photos.

Pjphoto59
5th October 2013, 11:22 PM
Shirley its Pjphoto59

:)

It is indeed!

Sorry I did not pick up this thread earlier, but I have been out taking (stock) photos.

I took up Stock Photography when I retired. It has the great advantage of allowing you to take photographs and earn some money without having to do any of the rather tedious things like marketing, selling and chasing payments from customers.

I have images with several agencies, but for me Alamy is the only one that sells. Alamy is a UK company based in Abingdon with a sales office in New York and presence in several other countries. It also has other agencies acting as distributors all over the world.

I made my first sale in 2006 when I had 144 images on sale and the total number on Alamy was about 3.5 million.

I now have almost 7000 images on Alamy and sell about 8 each month.

Alamy now has 40 million images on sale.

I get payments from Alamy about 5-6 times a year. Paid direct into my bank account.

Prices are much lower than they used to be and the trend is downwards, however I have quite a few images that have been sold several times.

Having taken the pictures, there is quite a bit of work in preparing the images, uploading them and the then captioning keywording and adding Model Releases (if needed). I reckon on average it takes about 15 minutes work per image to get it out of the camera and do what is necessary to get it on sale.

I find it a fascinating but time consuming business, and before setting out on it you need to understand that if you are to be successful at it, it will have a profound effect on your photography. The kind of pictures lauded by photography magazines and club competitions are generally not very good sellers on Alamy. More prosaic subjects are better sellers and it takes a while to realise that you can photograph anything, so long as you can think of a caption and keywords.

You can of course just carry on doing whatever photography you do now and put images up on Alamy from time to time, but with sales averaging one per month per 1000 images on sale it will probably take a long time to get any results and not very encouraging...

shirley
6th October 2013, 08:15 PM
Thank you so much Peter, very useful insights. Probably an idea for after retirement, not before!!!

Pjphoto59
8th October 2013, 05:48 AM
Thank you so much Peter, very useful insights. Probably an idea for after retirement, not before!!!

I agree, I could not have made a very sensible attempt at it when I was working. Used to hear a lot about the horrors of enforced inactivity in retirement but I certainly do not have that problem.

It also works very well with my wife and I as we enjoy go all over the place together. She suggests things to photograph, watches my back and has largely got over being embarrassed by the things I do. If it didn't work like that I would not do it.