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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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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We're pleased to announce that stock agent PhotoAsia Picture Library has launched a brand new website design incorporating much awaited ecommerce from THP.

"This implementation of the ecommerce is in line with our primary objective to always cater to the needs of the clients who are frequently faced with pressing deadlines and the urgency to be able to order their selected images at all hours. Now that the shopping cart is activated we hope we can generate sales while we sleep." -  Doreen Lau

When PhotoAsia first started in 1992, it was known as Picture Library. In August 2009, it changed its name to PhotoAsia Picture Library. Following the name change PhotoAsia now specializes in the marketing of images of Asia, Asian and Malay lifestyles with an emphasis on the multi-racial culture & their colourful diversity. Over the past 20 years PhotoAsia has earned a reputation for marketing the best quality images with the most creative interpretations of popular scenes which will live up to their tagline that POWERFUL PICTURES SPEAK!

 

Like to know more about the THP? click here!


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For those who work in the stock industry in France, Pixday is one of the highlights of the year. Organized every year by Pixways, the company who created Pixpalace, a distribution portal for agencies in France, it is the only event in Paris where stock photo and video buyers and photography agencies can meet together.

Along with 30 other press, stock and specialized agencies, the age fotostock Paris team attended Pixday on the 11th of April. The day was extremely busy and rewarding, filled with meetings with clients both old and new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few words from Magali Tribalet, our Head of Sales at age fotostock France;

"Our visitors were mainly from the editorial and publishing market but a nice surprise this year was the growing number of visits from the advertising and communication industry.

We can confirm that microstock is very powerful in the market but buyers are also increasingly committed to agencies that offer alternatives - a different look, legal insurance and more variety.

The overall impression was that in spite of a very tough market, the vibe was positive, and clients were pleased to notice that traditional agencies such as age fotostock are offering new and high quality images."


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The focus of Christophe Boisvieux’s photography lies in the bond between man and spirituality.   As a veteran photographer and author of travel books, his images have been published in prestigious newspapers and magazines internationally, images which take us on a gentle mystical tour around the world, paying silent respect to the beliefs, the people, the culture and the environments they reveal. He has mastered “writing with light”, as he describes photography, going back and forth between the earthly and the spiritual, the human and the divine… You can see more of Christophe’s work at www.christopheboisvieux.com.

Q: Choose 3 words that describe you.

A: Willing, dedicated, enthusiastic.

Q: How did you learn to be a photographer?

A: Since my early childhood I was always fascinated by the ever changing metamorphosis of light. Photography is nothing else after all than "writing with light"! That is how I became a photographer, I think. I learned photography on my own by making mistakes and watching closely the work of renowned photographers I admired.

Q: Any special artistic influences?

A: Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Roland & Sabrina Michaud, Steve Mac Curry, James Nachtwey

Q: What is your favorite time of day to make photos?

A: Early morning and evening

Q: What equipment do you carry when you’re packing light?

A: 1 Nikon D700, 1 Nikon D300, 1 zoom 28-70 mm, 1 zoom 70-200 mm, 1 20 mm

Q: What’s the image that you are still hoping to make?

A: A faithful portrait of my wife!

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: It just happenend to be among the best on the market!

Q: What is the best or worst photographic advice that you have ever received?

A: The best: To roam and turn around a subject until you have the feeling you have worked it out. The advice was given to me by my friend Roland Michaud.

Q: What is the greatest challenge for photographers today?

A: Making a living in deregulated world gone mad!

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: A musician for sure!


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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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