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Last month I told you that I recently became a contributor at Alamy. You can catch up on the details of Alamy in that issue, here.

Although I’m still working on building up my portfolio there, your fellow reader, Colleen Bessel, is much further along in the process.

Colleen has been plugging away at Alamy for the past couple of years, and she’s seeing some definite payback. This makes me more excited than ever to continue submitting and building there.

I’ll let Colleen tell you about her experience, below…

Finding Success on Alamy
By Breakfast Stock Club Member, Colleen Bessel

When I first started with stock photography about three years ago, I began with Fotolia, Dreamstime and Bigstock, but became frustrated with the meager price they paid for the sale of my images. Yes, I know it is all about volume but I still had a problem selling my images for pennies. 

A couple of years ago one of Great Escape Publishing’s instructors recommended Alamy to me. It was the site he used for selling a lot of his travel images. So I decided to give it a try. I uploaded a few hundred of my travel images, but had very little initial activity. I did some research and found in the member forums that Alamy uses different algorithms that seem to favor their seasoned contributors, so it takes a while to break through. 

However, in the last few months I have started to see activity. While the sales are slowly starting to pick up and I continue to upload images, what has been the most encouraging to me is the price that they pay for images. I have sold photos ranging from $25 to $152 (for a single sale!). And Alamy pays you 50% of the sale price, which is much higher than the average rate of 20-30% that most microstock agencies pay.

The features that I really like are:

  • Payout level for image sales is considerably higher. 
  • Easy upload. (Tip: Upload in small batches. Alamy does not quality check every image. They do a random check of a couple of images in a batch. If one image fails, the whole batch fails. But if the random checks pass, the whole batch passes.) Note: over a three-year period I have had only two batches declined, both when I uploaded large batches and was probably a bit complacent.
  • Fast turnaround time for approval of images. Usually, within 24 hours.
  • Keywording after approval, so you don’t spend a lot of time keywording images that are ultimately declined.
  • It’s a good market for travel photos, which is the bulk of my images.
  • Their site is very user-friendly. It’s easy to see and monitor your portfolio, with an excellent Dashboard to track sales and activity.

Here are some of the images that I have sold through Alamy recently:

Alamy stock photo
Taken at a cooking school in Thailand. Sold for $24.99. 

Alamy stock photo lighthouse in Italy
Taken off the Isle of Capri in Italy. Sold for $152.81.

Alamy stock photo of a market in Peru
Taken at a market in rural Peru.  Sold for $50.23.

Alamy stock photo of coastline in Mexico
Taken at Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico.  Sold for $75.00.

By way of contrast, this image above sold 12 times on Fotolia for a total of $6.72 net. Individual sales ranged from .25 to $1.20. 

If you have made your start with stock and are regularly getting your images approved, it might be worth giving Alamy a try.  

You may not sell as many images on the site, but each individual sale will be higher. It takes a lot of .35 sales to equal one sale for $50. And since you can have the same photos on each site, you really have nothing to lose by adding Alamy to your list.

If you’d like to give Alamy a try, you can sign up as a member and start submitting here.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.]

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