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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Recently released: Blend's new RF collection of affordably priced conceptual and illustrative low-resolution imagery - perfect for use in digital design and on-line marketing. This collection offers a fresh, new approach to stock content, created by professional photographers using modern camera phones.

Want to see more? Click here.

Including a broad spectrum of subjects such as travel, lifestyle, business, food, architecture, family and sports, Memento will add a contemporary feel to any creative project.


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Founded in Moscow in 2009, stock agency Legion-Media began working with the main publishing houses and advertizing agencies in Russia, growing to be a major distributor of international content in Russia in 2013. Expanding the business, they opened Dreamsfoto (www.dreamsfoto.org) a site which consists of their best stock material, based on the THP platform.

"We  were  pleasantly surprised when from the very beginning we had millions of images provided through EasyFotostock, age fotostock and Pixtal. Also we were pleasantly surprised by very simple and understandable back office and suppliers connection, as well as very good communication with THP employees, who are ready to help at anytime.

Our clients who use stock material are very happy to have this fantastic resource.  Quick  search, simple  keywording, search by collections, e-commerce - this is a partial list of the benefits that clients are enjoying.

THP is a company for people who are thinking about their business. It's a simple and quick way for increasing your sales."


- Tamerlan Gamidov, CEO, Legion-Media

Thank you for your kind words, Tamerlan! Welcome to our THP network.


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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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