31 years in the same office location proves patience and determination, but at one point the office space that for many years had managed color film processing, digital scanning, paper catalog storage, etc, was simply no longer suitable for the present requirements for IT developments, communications, websites and virtual business models. This is why age fotostock decided to move to a new location.

P99 (99 Pallars Street) is the new centre for professionals in 22@ district, Barcelona, a district of excellence with clusters of nearly 2,000 highly dynamic firms in the fields of media, energy and design. 22@ is the most important project of urban transformation in Barcelona in recent years, transforming two hundred hectares of industrial land of Poblenou into an innovative district offering modern spaces for the strategic concentration of intensive knowledge-based activities.

Sprung from a determination to unite the business community in the area, P99 is a modern building which conveys and sustains well-being. It is spacious and bright and is located in a site which provides a high quality of life due to both the vitality and the tranquility of its surroundings. This makes it an ideal setting to develop forward thinking projects and business activity.

“At some point,” says Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of age fotostock, “you have to be within the culture you belong to, and as we are well immersed in developing the technology suitable for close to 90 distributors around the world, we are delighted be moving into an environment alongside our contemporaries in similar fields.”

age fotostock
Pallars 99, office 21
08018 Barcelona (España)
Tel. (34) 93 300 25 52

 


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Another major step forward: Earlier this week all THP members’ websites were updated with a new search engine whose enhanced functionality brings modern formats, speed, reliability and new features to the leading front.

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.  Recognizing and incorporating these changes, our in-house THP designers and programmers have been working on the new customer-focused design  functionality for the last year. This long term development plan has included the creation and live-testing of new modules in order to incorporate the valued advice and feedback given by THP agents and their clients.

Some highlights are:


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


Easy access to new offers
As well as RM and RF images, Low Budget Images and Video, new offers such as Vectors and Celebrities are now featured.


Modern functionality
A complete renovation: the front end is now more contemporary, stylish, and more intuitive with responsive navigation and design. In a clear layout, visual tags and icons help the client to easily recognize licenses and grouped collections.


Catering to agents’ individual needs
The ability to adjust colours to those prevalent in agents’ websites, as well as the offer to cover specific wishes or add different or additional functionalities.


Drag and drop items

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


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.

We trust that this enhanced search engine will assist agents in getting good results in day to day business. As we continue to make a strenuous effort to blend modern methods and procedures in the THP system, renovations on the Agents Members Area/Backend are now being made, which will bring the entire THP platform to a high aligned level of modernity and functionality.


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The slow drone of a 16 hour flight becomes a vague memory as soon as one arrives amidst the organized bustle of millions in Shibuya central station, Tokyo. In the stock photography industry we’re always keeping in touch with our associates by email, phone, and meetings at conferences such as PACA , CEPIC, Visual Connections. However nothing beats visiting these companies on their home turf, which I was fortunate enough to do recently. In a splendid mix of work and personal vacations, I made my way to my native homeland New Zealand, passing by Japan, Korea, Thailand and Australia to visit age fotostock’s associate agents, content providers and clients. Interesting, eye-opening, informative, these visits help to fortify relationships and get a real feel for how business is going.


Here’s some of the inside news:

Japanese business is based on commitment, dedication and serious relationships. Clients and agents are dedicated to one another, and once a client has established a working relationship with an agent it is very rare that they would change to work with another company.  This is one of the reasons why the microstock offer is affecting the market so slowly, as well as the fact that our agents in Japan sell mostly RM images for editorial use, and their clients need a quality of service that could never be found at a microstock level.

The weak economic situation in Japan means that business has understandably been quiet in the past years, but agents are hopeful that 2014 will be stable.

Interestingly enough, one of the highest reaching prices in Japan is in licensing for calendar use. It's a unique Japanese thing, where every year companies produce their own calendar to gift to their clients and associates. In a society where gift giving is a high art, these calendars demonstrate commitment, professionalism and status, which is reflected in the great amounts of money invested in their production and the national ‘Best Calendar’ competitions that take place every year. Covering topics such as aerial photography, islands, museums, natural parks from around the world, age fotostock’s high-quality travel images are perfect for these calendars.

Microstock has affected Thailand and Korea greatly and most agents have had to offer a subscription model in order not to lose the clients who can only afford to make smaller purchases. However, high-end clients remain dedicated to our agents, as they depend on the reliable customer service when licensing images for advertising.

Bounding back from New Zealand on the return trip to Barcelona, I touched down in Australia to meet some of our direct clients there, mostly editorial companies producing travel and/or educational material.  I was struck by the similarities each company had in terms of goals for the year – projects are becoming more universal and online products becoming more of a focus than those in print.

Australian editorial companies cater not only to Australia but also New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Indonesia and many more countries in the Asia / Pacific Rim.  The companies used to produce different product versions with localized image content for each territory but now their projects have a global reach, and the images of people working and studying (eg. a cover for a high school study package) need to reflect our changing, global society, where people of different ethnicities work and socialize together.

In a country where the aim of having one-computer-per-student is soon to be realized, companies are moving rapidly into producing digital multimedia packages, and in many cases their publications are produced more for online use than for paper. For those photographers out there, our clients forecasted the rapidly increasing use of video in these products, and requested more video content, now!

 

As well as content such as History, Geography, Nature & Science, they need:

-    All types of images of people with mixed ethnicities.
-    Preferably Asian looking images more than European ones, since Australia and New Zealand markets cover the Asia /Pacific Rim.
-    Authentic business images with people of mixed races. Dance/choreography/stage performance.
-    Images reflecting cyber safety, bullying.
-    Authentic images of people working in Industry.
-    Locations & events in the Asia/Pacific.
-    Health & P.E, kids playing sports.
-    Adults and children in design & technology environments.


And for further inspiration, our Japanese agents requested images such as:


-    Artistic flower images.
-    Aerial images.
-   Lifestyle images for editorial use, in particular families eating, their housing, domestic routines, from all across the world.

To those of you who I met along my travels, thank you so much for your kindness & hospitality. We’ll continue to work together to keep the business a lucrative and enjoyable sector for the years to come.

See you again soon!

Julieanne Eason,
Content Manager.

Freycenet National Park, Australia.

 


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The digital photos we are all accustomed to are bitmap images, composed of pixels. In contrast, a vector image or graphic is formed by independent geometric objects, which can be segments, lines or polygons. Each one of these objects is based on mathematical expressions, and their points have a definite position on the x and y axis of the image area. 

Why are vector graphics so wonderful?

Their versatility. Vector graphics are like superheroes: at the click of a button or the drag of a mouse you can change their shape, colour and size, and they will still look amazing.

To be specific;

Firstly, each object can be manipulated separately even if they overlap other objects in the image. They can be copied and pasted to create separate graphics, and can easily be assigned a different color, shape, thickness and fill.


Secondly,  from a business card to a billboard, vector images can be scaled without distortion or resolution loss. Their lines & render are crisp and sharp at any size and they can be printed at infinitely high resolutions.

Needless to say, everyone who works in graphic design absolutely swears by them!

What more?

  • All age fotostock’s vector files are in .EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format, a highly customizable format that allows you to use the image as a vector as well as a bitmap.
  • .EPS files can be opened in Adobe Photoshop, but the best way to work with vectors  is to use a vector editing software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.
  • Like photos, .EPS files can be LBRF, RF or RM.
  • The file size of a vector is based on how complex or difficult the image is, how intricate the lines are and how complicated the points are, not on the size or colour of the image.
  • The download time for an .EPS file cannot be easily estimated as it depends on the file size, the type of connection the client uses, the state or saturation of the connection, and other factors such as the number of internet applications being used on the computer during the download.

Feeling jumpy? Need to stretch? Let a vector do it for you!!!

 


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It was colorful, it was flurrying. Upstairs there were tables filling and emptying in a constant flow of meetings between agents and providers, downstairs there were talks of how to find all of the legal and illegal ways your images are being used on the web, confessions from buyers about what they really want (wonderful well-documented images with ever decreasing prices) advice on using social networks, stock photography mobile phone applications,  and the joys of wifi enabled cameras… to mention only a few of the many topics…

The PACA conference is a two day event that provides an opportunity to network with providers, agents, clients and figureheads in the stock industry, as well as featuring a full program of panel talks, discussions, words from the wise in the industry. Alfonso (CEO) and Julieanne (Content Manager) were in New York attending both events last week along with age fotostock USA head of sales Susan Jones, who charmingly chaired the PACA panels over the two days.

They were joined by age fotostock USA sales staff to greet current and potential clients with information about our collection, a bag full of goodies and some crispy apples at Visual Connections. Susan summarizes, "This year was a good year for Visual Connections. It really was a busy, productive day."

For more information about PACA and Visual Connections click here to check out one of our previous posts.


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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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