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We’ve all spotted it at some point in our lives – stock photography is everywhere. From ads to flyers to TV and more, these discount images appear time and time again in the world.
Why not find a solid source in Alamy Stock Photos and reduce the stress of shopping around through an endless pool of pictures?
This brand has been around for decades already, sourcing a loyal 20k followers on their Instagram and finding work and support through The Economist, Microsoft, Hearst Magazine, and more.
This Alamy review will be doing things a little differently. Due to the two sides of the business, buyer and contributor, I’ll be taking a look at both sides of the coin to present a well-rounded image of this company and whether they’re worth investing time and money in.
Overview of Alamy
I’d be remiss to ignore the history behind this brand. Created in 1999 (nothing says turn of the century like launching stock photos on the fancy new internet) by James West and Mike Fischer, this business is all about image.
Wanting the world to tell stories through accessible images, this site is all about providing the world with affordable images to use as needed.
Working with contributors from over 170 countries, this business established themselves as being a go-to for good photos of every kind.
Offering a wide selection of categories with over 100k new images added daily, there’s a never-ending supply at the ready to conquer whatever campaign is in need of an image.
Non-exclusive in nature, this company makes it easy for photographers to get their into the public eye and earn solid money in the process.
In addition to supporting photographers and artists through their distribution, this brand is big into supporting growth and change.
Offering students 100% commission for two years during their period of study allows younger artists to get their work into the world with a bit of a push in the working world.
Supporting philanthropic endeavors with a portion of their earnings, Alamy also annually puts funds towards medical and educational research worldwide.
Providing a solid start to any photographer’s career, Alamy offers the chance to tell stories through photos, whether buying or contributing.
Of course, their generosity is only one element this Alamy review discovered in our research. Check out these other highlights for a well-rounded image of the business:
- Expansive library with hundreds of thousands of stock images for purchase
- Multiple purchasing models
- Both micro stock and macro stock are available
- Non-exclusivity policy in place for contributors
- Charitable donations annually
- Fund research in medical and educational fields
Alamy Stock Photo Review
I want my Alamy review to be as detailed as possible and that means covering every angle. We have to consider both sides at play for both the buyer and the contributor (who knows how many photographers are reading this?).
That’s why I’ll be breaking this down into two sections – read the portion applicable and carry on or take a glance through both to be informed on the whole business at play.
How Does Alamy Work?
Alamy’s contributors go through a bit more of a process to get their pieces on the market, however, it’s still quite straightforward.
It all starts with a photo you love that should have some exposure in the world. Any subject works, as the Alamy library seems to have a spot for every category.
Getting them uploaded doesn’t take much time at all. Creators simply have to:
- Sign upwith an account or log in with an existing one
- Upload or transfer the images
- Wait while Quality Control checksover the image before approving
- Add necessary tags and captions that will allow customers easy access to finding the image
- Submit the image for next-day sales
Once that’s done, photos are live for sale and available to the public. All contributors receive fair pay with images used in papers, shows, and a wide range of websites.
Let the photos air and rake in the money as more people discover the beauty in the story provided from your lens to their screen.
Contributors have a non-exclusivity agreement in place meaning photographers are able to submit their photos to additional stock sites for wider exposure.
Take advantage of the Alamy tools that track analytics and customer needs, suggesting popular categories to add to over time.
All photographers have full control of their images with no additional editing done on Alamy’s part. Once Quality Control has been checked, the rest is up to the contributor to determine just how to finish things with finesse.
The more photos uploaded, the better the chance of bringing in more money. Simple and quick, this process makes it easy to explore the world of artist exposure.
The buying process is easier than ever. Customers have three options when it comes to licensing an image:
- Popular Image Licensing – ready to use at any time, this purchasing allows for single-use images for personal, presentation, website, magazine, marketing, and 360-degree use for costs from $15 to $400 depending on the product and use
- Royalty-Free Image Licensing – flexible in approach, these images can be used across multiple platforms with a single purchase including categories for vectors and 360 images with costs from $45 to $500 depending on the product and use
- Custom Licensing – this option works with the buyer’s business to craft an original and unique purchasing option via one-on-one direction with the customer service team
Once a licensing style has been determined, it’s time to start shopping. Customers are invited to search through the Browse by Category section which breaks down the 291 million images into more manageable segments to start searching.
Those who really don’t know where to start can take a look at the Fresh Picks section with daily featured collections of favorite photographers, categories, themes, and more.
Just find a great photo, select the purchasing option as needed, and access the image right away. No delays or wait time – just fun and fresh photos at your fingertips.
Alamy vs Shutterstock
We all know that Alamy isn’t the only name in the market for stock images. There’s a variety of brands that pop up offering a similar contributor-buyer relationship with benefits on both sides. One of the biggest names in the industry – Shutterstock.
Dating back to 2003, Shutterstock was quick to make their name stand out for their wide and expansive selection of photos at affordable prices.
Focusing on micro stock, these images maintain lower costs for licensing use of images, paying photographers with each download to really support the international artists that have created such an extensive library.
The main difference between these names comes from their status of pricing. Shutterstock offers only micro stock while Alamy goes for both micro and macro. What’s the difference? Cost.
Micro images typically revolve around general images sold for low costs with photographers earning a few cents per image sold. Macro stock photos go for double, sometimes triple-digit prices for more editorial purposes.
Writing this Alamy review, I know that there are pros and cons to each brand. I’m not going to sway readers either way, but instead, offer up a suggestion on which one to choose for general needs.
Choose Shutterstock if
- General pictures of pets, posing people, wallpapers, patterns, etc., are your forte
- Fast money is preferred (contributors see their pay at quicker intervals)
- Big money doesn’t matter most (as photographers earn approximately 10 cents per purchase)
- Captioning, titling, and hash-tagging isn’t a favored past time (keyword suggestions appear for the photographer to select)
Choose Alamy if
- Larger, editorial images are the dream (i.e. buildings, streetscapes, people, events, etc.)
- Lots of sales aren’t the priority
- Waiting for larger sales is a game worth playing
- Statistics and measuring tools interest you
- Community atmosphere through forum posts appeals
Both businesses have their own benefits and, with Alamy’s non-exclusivity agreement, it’s possible to work both.
Find the brand that best suits your personal style and needs and go from there. It may take a bit of time and research, but either way contributors and buyers find the support they need through an open and caring environment.
Alamy Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
For this Alamy review, I wanted to present a well-rounded perspective and that means going beyond how the business works and into the public perception.
Reputation speaks wonders for a business like this, so I was quick to take a look at the reviews and ratings available for the name. The first glance isn’t great, but I’ll dive more into the details to break down the good and not so good of this brand.
I have to note that there wasn’t a wide pool of ratings to select from in writing this Alamy review. In fact, out of the millions of photos uploaded online, I struggled to find under 200 ratings spread out across numerous sources.
As a result, I’ll be taking note of the pros and cons these platforms cite, however, I’d suggest reading critically and keeping in mind that this smaller number may not accurately reflect the business as a whole.
Starting low and going high, I’m beginning with TrustPilot and their 2/5 stars based on over 170 ratings.
Easily the platform with the highest number of participants, I need to note that 59% of ratings for this brand sit at the 5-star mark, overshadowed by the rest sitting at 1- to 2-stars.
Despite some of the lower ratings finding issues in customer service, there are actually a lot of individuals on TrustPilot that adore all Alamy has to offer.
From their great pricing to high-resolution images, this brand has “Lots to pick from. I found just what I wanted at a very reasonable price. Will be my go to for images from now on.”
By offering both micro and macro stock for reasonable costs, they manage to compete with other businesses of both margins.
Providing customers with a “great price [for] high-resolution images” this brand understands what customers and contributors are looking to gain from a business like this one.
“I have found Alamy to be the best among the lot to sell images. Alamy has a wide customer base which provides better exposure to my images. The image manager provided by Alamy is very simple to use and provides handling of images with ease. Also the payments for the sales are received without any hassle.”
Following suit, G2’s own rating in their Alamy review takes note of more of the benefits with 3.6/5 stars based on over 5 ratings.
I’ll admit, this one is a stretch with their lower number of ratings at play, however, I do want to note that customers find this brand to hold “awesome value for the money. The prices are low enough that we can acquire many professional media files for use in many types of internal and public-facing business materials.”
Providing an open and friendly space for customers to search the stacks of endless photos, this brand proudly holds a website that makes it “easy to use to find, buy, and download photos.”
The friendly interface encourages visitors and contributors to return time and time again, offering more stock with each visit.
Their international element also plays a large part in their success. The Wahavi Blog specifically notes that “Because Alamy has contracts with many distributors in different parts of the world, some of the sales can be a single digit amount. However, images purchased directly from Alamy may sometimes even bring you thousands of dollars.”
Combining the sales of micro and macro stock in a single location allows for contributors to play both fields with ease for chances of common microstock sales with the possibility of some larger purchases.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Alamy review world online is more than a bit biased due to fewer ratings available.
Despite that, I managed to pull a pretty rounded image of the best and worst parts of the business into this article. From what I can tell, there are more pros to acknowledge than their counterpart, making this a pretty solid choice.
Is Alamy Legit?
As far as I can tell while doing my research for this Alamy review, the business is legit. Their expansive inventory and listing of contributors speak to all that this brand offers the industry. The only issues I’ve seen come from an apparent lack of customer service support from the company.
It seems contributors have found more dilemmas with the business than buyers, however, I’m only pulling this information from a small and select pool of reviewers, so it may not accurately reflect the business as a whole.
Is Alamy Worth It?
I’m taking a heavy stance here and saying that Alamy is worth a shot. The non-exclusivity element for contributors allows for wider exposure of their work and makes it easy for participants to add new photos at any time.
Using endless categories to organize the work, photographers have the ability to remove photos at any time should they decide to take their work elsewhere.
Buyers also get a pretty good deal in place with this brand. Paying affordable prices for a variety of licensing agreements, it’s easy to find what’s needed. Just sort through, pick, and pay – it’s that easy.
The best part is a single purchase offers an easy way to try things out. No one who uses Alamy has to commit to anything – just test the waters and see if it fits the requirements in place.
Alamy Promotions & Discounts
Unfortunately, Alamy doesn’t have any ongoing promotions or discounts. The closest I found was their Student Deal for contributors.
Photographers still in school can earn 100% commission on their work for two years to build up reputation and funding, supporting the next generation of artists.
Who owns Alamy?
Alamy is currently owned by their parent company, PA Media. Their operating CEO is founder James West.
All information collected comes with the approval and consent of the user, with data only being to communicate and uphold contracted obligations with the participating parties (i.e., you).
What is Alamy’s Refund Policy?
Don’t fret about getting your money back. Those who purchased content from the business have the option to get a refund within 14 days of the invoice.
As long as customers haven’t downloaded the content, the license may be canceled in those two weeks by emailing customer service with the invoice number and content file.
Anyone who has opened and downloaded the content is no longer available to refund the purchase. By downloading content, users agree to have no right to a refund.
Can I cancel Alamy Anytime?
Alamy doesn’t force contributors to buy in or commit to a certain time span. That means at any point, clients are able to cancel their accounts. All that’s required is a few simple steps:
- Email [email protected]with the intent to cancel
- A response will be sent shortly confirming the request
- All photos will be removed from the site within 45 daysfrom the initial request
It doesn’t take too much effort to close accounts. Just be confident in the intent to cancel and understand that all photos will be removed within a month and a half.