New times, more features. age fotostock has launched a brand new Website

age fotostock, a stock photography agency based in Spain with offices in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, and Paris, launched a brand new customer-focused website this month. The site, http://www.agefotostock.com, has been especially designed by in-house age fotostock web designers and programmers in direct response to research of customer and client needs. The enhanced functionality and new search engine spearhead the beginning of many improvements to the age fotostock and THP platforms.


Moving hand in hand with developments in technology, the business model of the stock photography industry has been changing constantly and dramatically in the past years, both in regards to agencies’ administrative needs as well as the clients’ approach to licensing images. age fotostock has undertaken the development of a new website that recognizes and incorporates these changes.

Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of age fotostock, comments, "We have listened to our clients and have developed the new search engine and all collateral functionalities based on their advice, adapting it to today’s needs and client requirements and demands. Furthermore we needed to acknowledge that content is increasing nowadays in ways never expected many years ago, and video is also a key element that requires much storage and fast processing. For more than a year now we have been ready to service our clients with what we believe is a tool that will help them in the decision making process and the licensing of images."

The decision to develop the new website from scratch rather than improve the original website built in 2007 was made early on. Because of the largess of this mission, a modular approach was elected by age fotostock and bridges were developed to make both the old and the new codes functional, ensuring that the business would not be disrupted when the new modules started to be operative. age fotostock has now begun unveiling functional modules that will result in the complete metamorphosis of the new age fotostock website over the following months. These changes will also be applied to all THP (Technological Hosting Platform) member accounts.

Highlights of the current website include:


Drag and drop items
An item drag and drop function enables the smooth addition of items to both light boxes and shopping carts.


Permanent Search Box
The search box is always present no matter where you are in the website.


Enhanced item preview
The new “Item preview” window offers detailed information and the ability to navigate throughout items in the search results while maintaining the original search results in the background.


Extensive search engine filters
An expanded Search Engine section allows you to find results faster and more easily by applying filters from a range of terms and categories.


Julieanne Eason, the Content Manager and International Coordinator at age fotostock, comments, "We continue to make a strenuous effort to blend methods and procedures in this new website & the THP system.  Not only will we see improvements in the front end of the site such as the new search engine, but also in the back end, where the monitoring and control of exclusive sales in global and small markets makes use of the newly simplified and efficient THP licensing matrix."

ABOUT AGE FOTOSTOCK
age fotostock is a general photo agency with offices in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, and Paris, dedicated to the daily addition of quality images (Rights Managed, Royalty Free and Low Budget Royalty Free) and videos from an impressive range of subjects. age fotostock also produces its own collections, age fotostock (RM), Pixtal, (RF) and low budget Royalty Free easyFotostock (LBRF), which are all distributed through www.agefotostock.com, as well as through over 100 agencies worldwide.

ABOUT THP Photo & Video Services
The THP is the Technological Hosting Platform that connects image and video providers, distributors, and clients. The THP hosts an impressive database of more than 21 million high resolution image files and close to 400.000 video clips. THP Photo & Video Services also provides Photo Storage and High Resolution file access to over one hundred companies worldwide.

The THP was created and is managed single-handedly by age fotostock, and has evolved into a community of close to 60 companies worldwide that enjoy direct access to over 450 RM, RF and LBRF collections.


CONTACT INFORMATION
age fotostock / THP Photo & Video Services
Julieanne Eason
Content Manager and International Coordinator
Julieanne@agefotostock.com

tel.(+34) 93 300 25 52
www.agefotostock.com
www.thpphotoservices.com


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CEPIC, Center of the Picture Industry Europe, held its annual conference here in Barcelona June Tuesday 10th– Friday 14th .

Given that Barcelona is age fotostock’s home city and that age fotostock CEO Alfonso Gutierrez was elected the president of Cepic at the beginning of the week, it was an exciting and busy week for age fotostock staff. In fact, the hubbub and CEPIC aftermath has only just now started to simmer down.

Overall, the CEPIC congress is simply the best place to stay in touch with all our partners, listen to what is going on in the industry and learn about other countries experiences and ways of doing business.

More specifically, that means 30 minute meetings from 9am until 6.30pm for three days straight, dinners or lunches with business associates who have travelled across the world to attend and despite their jetlag will do all they can to take advantage of being on the Mediterranean, walking in many directions with much purpose and many pamphlets, excel sheets, laptop under the arm, intense cravings for coffees, the odd sit down to be enlightened or angered  in one of the conference sessions and a well deserved shake-it-loose party at the end of the week. In short, it’s a photography industry meeting marathon.

My personal experience as Content Manger for age fotostock was a fortification of our relationships with current providers and agents, closing business deals which include extending distribution contracts to new territories, meeting companies representing new collections, talking with current Providers about their new content available and comparing business experience and strategies with other companies. The age fotostock team also held a small meeting for the agents who use our THP network, where we were proud to demo the new age fotostock website which will be launched soon.

News from the floor is that the market is slightly decreasing in areas of economic struggle and remaining steady in others. Smaller companies tend to be retiring from the business and those who are growing are the ones who are promoting new business strategies which take advantage of the increasingly important and inescapable role that digital technology plays in our daily lives. Clients are accustomed to the microstock product and an image selling for $5,000 is a rare occurrence nowadays. Clients globally now ask for more images at a lesser price and with extended uses and extended dates, although there is a general consensus that clients are constantly returning to agents that can provide service, which doesn’t mean only personal sales care but a trustworthy product in which the releases, caption information and sales history of the item are valid and dependable.

There is also the ever present desire for those at Cepic to learn which new markets and products are developing, but although there are many companies out there taking many different approaches, no one seems to have sprung upon anything that can lift us high and dry out of the lull left in the wake of microstock pricing. Yet.


Many attendants said it was one of their favorite Cepic congresses, and although it could have been just the influence of smooth Spanish sun after a particularly bleak winter across Europe, I believe the feeling of camaraderie in the business comes from the inherent need to pull together to unite industry standards and to spread knowledge and expertise in order to make the industry stronger.


I’ll leave you with a quote from Sol, age fotostock International Accounts Manager:


“If I should define 2013 CEPIC, I would say that it made me think about one of my favourite books: Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Everyone was in the mood of gaining a victory by losing as little as possible. Everyone was keen to negotiate symbiotic synergies. There were no big parades or miracle solutions but instead, tones of persistence, resilience and the decisive goal to catch a business opportunity, wherever it is. This is the time for creative, energetic, and simple solutions – which curiously manifested in a dish included in the catering at the Cepic opening party; a culinary innovation encapsulating the famous Spanish cockle (berberechos) sauce and a lot of tasty inspiration in one shot.”


Are we ready to fight? Certainly, at age fotostock, we are.

 


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This month's photo submissions call is for images that will be in season in October - that means fall & halloween; crunchy leaves, scarves, red and orange colours, mystery, harvest time. For those  photographers out there with images you haven't yet submitted from last fall, please do so now!

If you just can't resisting shooting your pumpkins, keep in mind that a creative photo with an interesting approach or angle will make your image stand out from the masses.

 

Pumpkins epitomize both harvest and halloween - but please don't feel that the squash is the limit. We're also in need of new & different halloween themed images.

 

Take for example this photo that Emilio Ereza submitted a few years back, which is one of our favourites.

Are any of you other photographers' out there keen to photograph an image equally mysterious, atmospheric and captivatingly halloweenish?


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A photographer in our chat room recently asked:


<<What is difference in missions of PACA, BAPLA, CEPIC? Are they all similar missions & only their member's locations differ?>>


Basically, yes, their missions are similar, and yes, it is their location that differentiates them. All three work closely with the others, and the P in each acronym stands for Picture:  They are all trade organizations, working to encourage the best possible standards in the stock photography industry, to protect the core principals of the industry, to become the one authorative voice in their territory.

 

PACA, the Picture Archive Council of America is a Digital Media Licensing Association in North America that represents the vital interests of stock archives of every size, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial reproduction. Founded in 1951, its membership includes over 100 companies in North America and over 50 international members.


PACA strives to foster and protect the interests of the picture archive community by monitoring new laws and court rulings that affect the stock photo industry and provides vital information on legal issues that are important to the business. They work to develop useful business standards and promote ethical business practices; actively advocate copyright protection; collect and disseminate timely information; and take an active role in the picture community by building relationships with organizations from related industries.


PACA holds an Annual International Conference. This is one of the main industry events of the year, providing opportunities to meet others in the business, discuss important issues, participate in seminars ranging from salesmanship to new technologies, and make connections with potential trade partners and vendors from around the country and the world.


The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, or BAPLA, has been a trade body since 1975 and is the trade association for picture libraries in the United Kingdom


BAPLA Represents picture libraries and agencies of all sizes and types. Its members include the major news, stock and production agencies as well as sole traders and cultural heritage institutions. Bapla deems to:
•    Encourage best practice within the industry.
•    Lobby at UK and international level to ensure the core principles of our industry are protected.
•    Develop and deliver solutions on 21st Century copyright.
•    Channel the knowledge and expertise of the wider picture community.
BAPLA is steered by an elected voluntary Executive Committee of 12 officers, supported by two permanent office staff, a freelance senior lobbying consultant and a number of subcommittees. Their work is funded by membership fees to whom they provide day-to-day business support.

And last but not least, we have CEPIC, Center of the Picture Industry Europe, for which our very well known CEO at age fotostock,  Alfonso Gutierrez, has just been elected President.

CEPIC federates nearly a thousand of picture agencies and photo libraries in 20 countries across Europe, both within and outside the European Union. It has affiliates in North America and Asia. CEPIC's membership includes large and smaller stock photo libraries, major photo news agencies, art galleries and museums, video companies. The aim of CEPIC is to be a united voice for the press, stock & heritage organisations of Europe in all matters pertaining to the photographic industry. This includes consolidating copyright protection for photography and ensuring that it not be weakened by the process of the harmonisation of copyright laws, fighting for comparable trade regulations and ethical standards which will guarantee the protection of rights for all photographers, copyright holders and agencies, and devleoping guidelines for a fair business competition.

With an annual congress since 1995, CEPIC has become a central meeting point for agencies from all around the world centered on Europe. The website has a wealth of information on copyright issues, legal battles, changes in law and how they affect the picture industry, changes in technology, and upcoming events.


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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