The Alamy portal, means by which some 15, 000 or so photographers make available their work to potential clients, has finally put its foot down on contributors who continually fail to meet the specifications Alamy has set.
Some contributors don’t have the equipment, or the knowledge or the ability to pass QC, or simply do not understand the requirements.
Other contributors are frustrated because Alamy's standards appear arbitrary and seem to have no relationship with actual picture quality or the production of a saleable image.
Many photographers who have spent their careers producing images to be used by the national or regional press are simply lost when instead of basic news pictures they are being asked to produce images that will fulfil the requirements of a glossy magazine double page spread, and then see their images being used by newspapers, often at less than a ¼ page and for agency rates anyway.
Some photographers have lost sight of the fact that Alamy is a successful business, and despite the contrariness of their requirements, and the refusal to accept clearly saleable images, because they do not reach an arbitrary ideal, Alamy does work. It makes many photographers who play the Alamy game a significant contribution to their income. Nobody forces photographers to contribute. No one has a gun to his or her head. It’s Alamy’s rules, Alamys pitch, Alamy’s ball, and Alamy’s game. Photographers either play the game and take a slice of the pie, or they don’t!
Serious Professionals will use Alamy for some of their editorial work, and (probably) put their specialist work with more appropriate agencies, whether they are news, music, gardening or whatever.
I asked Alan Capel, Alamy’s Head of Content how bad it was and he said:
“It's not an epidemic and we genuinely want people to get it right but some are just wasting everyone's' time including their own.”
And how many rejections Alamy were getting:
“Rejection rate wise. It fluctuates around the 20 - 25% of images level, so we do pass more than we fail. Number of submissions again fluctuates between 400-600 a day”
© 2009 Pete Jenkins