Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stock photography with PhotoShelter and Alamy

A few weeks ago, I signed up with PhotoShelter, with the intention of having a number of my images for sale as stock on their website. So far I've been quite pleased with what I've seen. Their turnaround time is fairly quick, their website interface is clean and easy to use (encouraging, as this should help drive the buyer experience as well) and two of my images, good ones, were rejected because "We've pretty much hit critical mass with this sort of subject matter, and we don't want to inundate our buyers with too much similar content."
However, I really want to get a good feel for the non micro-stock market, and in a one-horse race, you always know who the winner is. More after the jump.

So, in the interest of a better perspective on the market, I signed up with one of the largest companies in stock today, Alamy Stock Photography. They are a long-established company, with a library of over 10 million images and counting. Although more research is needed (and please let me know if you have any information) they don't seem to me fighting for the bottom rung of the ladder in terms of how they value their contributors, like the micros do. I have heard that once you have been initially approved, your submissions are un-managed as far as quality, which may explain some of their tremendous image count, but what I've seen in poking around the site looks to be very good.
Their technical guidelines for image submission are very precise, and seemingly quite stringent, so it should be interesting to see how my 10 pictures fare. They require uncompressed file sizes of 48mb or more, which (translates to roughly 5000x3300 pixels) which means that everything has to be up-rezzed before submitting, unless you're scanning at 5000 dpi or shooting medium format digital. They have the usual requirements of no dust, artifacts, out of focus, oversharpening, etc. I know my pictures are set on these requirements, as I've spent several hours over the last week first finding images I wanted to submit, then digging out the original .NEF files and re-converting them at maximum size and with very minimal sharpening.
Their stated turnaround time is 25 days (!) so it may be a bit before I have any more information on the future of these images with Alamy.

Note from the RTFM department: Alamy recommends submitting 4 images as an initial test. If ANY of the submitted images are rejected for ANY reason, the entire set will be rejected.
Oops. Wish I'd read that before I sent ten. Too late now. Hopefully, all ten will pass Almy's QC people. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.