Thursday, 11 November 2010

Walberswick to Alamy - sales? Am I mad?

This is one of those posts for stock photographers obsessed by statistics and wanting to know what other stock photographers are up to, so everyone else should avoid - other than to look at the photo of course!

Over the half term holidays my wife and I visited friends in Suffolk on on the way back took a small detour to visit the village of Walberswick, just outside Southwold. I took photos on our stroll around and, the skies and light being pretty good, have just processed and keyworded them from the point of view of getting them online as stock or art prints.

The first place to consider is Alamy. But oh dear, no less than 1,148 images are already there! I really should have done some research on this because let's get real, how many photos of Walberswick are going to be sold off Alamy in a year? Any at all?

"Alamy Measures" tells me that there have been 20 searches in the last year that include the word "Walberswick". But it reports zero sales. I'm inclined to believe this but instead let's conjecture that each search resulted in a sale. This is rubbish, but it's a good game.....

With typical returns per image sale at Alamy now being about £30 the ten images that I'm adding to the mix have the statistical likelihood of earning 10/1158 * £30 * 20 or £5.18 in the next year. If I spent an hour processing these images then I'm still not up to the minimum wage. And 20 sales is a fantasy anyway.

But having processed the images I may as well upload them, adding to the gross overpopulation of Walberswick photos on Alamy.

So where else shall I put them? Well, first place is my own library at lighttouch.photoshelter.com. The setup at Photoshelter is such that there is very little prospect of a stock sale there - but these are just the sort of images which should go down well as prints so if you are after photo prints of Walberswick to spruce up your walls then go and take a look!



And another place? I shall put two on iStockphoto.com. I have been experimenting with images there and one thing I have learned is that if the images get through quality control (tougher than Alamy) then for these two images (not ten) my statistics tell me that I will earn more than the £5.18 per year I fantasise about earning through Alamy. They will not be sold at rock bottom prices - at least not the $1 per image which is often touted. Once I've priced them a decent size file will be sold for £10 - £25 - not a lot of money, no, but within the budget of small businesses who would rather steal images than pay the silly prices in the Alamy calculator.

Oh, what? Wait a minute! Should I worry about the Alamy calculator?  http://www.alamy.com/customer/help/low-res.asp - even Alamy are selling images for $5.Yes, silly prices......

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