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Last week, BSC reader Marianne Campolongo shared her story of finding success with stock agency Alamy. You can catch up here if you missed it.

Alamy offers one of the highest royalty rates in the industry, but some people never find success there…

Cracking the Alamy Code: Part 2
By Marianne A. Campolongo

In addition to a fantastic royalty rate of 50%, which I talked about last week, here are three more of my favorite things about submitting photos to Alamy:

1. Their “shoot what you love” attitude.

Don’t you hate it when you upload a gorgeous image only to have some faceless reviewer reject it as “unsaleable,” “not up to our aesthetic quality,” or, even worse, because “we have too many similar images in our collection?”

As they state on their blog, even the most obscure subjects are welcome in Alamy’s collection. Rather than pre-judge a photo’s popularity, they let the market decide.

Uploads are randomly checked to ensure they are technically sound, but otherwise your creativity and vision are given free rein.

2. Nice & helpful people.

The people at Alamy encourage every photographer’s success, whether it’s helping obtain last-minute press credentials, replying promptly to emails, or going that extra mile.

I was out exploring Baltimore’s Inner Harbor when my cell phone showed London calling. Alamy’s assistant news editor greeted me warmly, enthused over the sunrise photos I had just uploaded before leaving my hotel (below). She then explained that the headlines and captions were inexplicably missing. Since I was out, she had me dictate new ones over the phone so I wouldn’t miss the chance for a sale or cut into my picture-taking time.

City skyline sells as stock photography on Alamy

Sunrises and sunsets may be on every microstock agency’s “oversaturated” list, but thanks to their hands-off attitude, Alamy is happy to take them.

My Baltimore sunrise did not sell that day, but Alamy later licensed it to a hotel website, which leads me to the next thing I like about Alamy…

3. Editorial is their strong suit.

Long known for the depth and quirkiness of their collection, Alamy is a go-to agency for editors and web designers seeking out photos of small towns and out-of-the-way places. The sleepy Connecticut seaside town where my family has summered for decades is slowly waking up. This shot from 2006 is part of a series that landed on a local realtor’s site in 2015, for $45 per image.

Alamy stock photo of an ocean scene

Bad weather sells great as editorial, too. It didn’t cover my deductible, but this photo of my car after Hurricane Sandy fetched over $96 in March, four and a half years after the storm.

Alamy stock photo showing a damaged car

As you can see, I’m very happy with my decision to stick with Alamy, even though it can take a while to make that first sale.

Next week, I’ll share some tips for upping your sales there and making it work for you, too.

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