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.

 


Actions: E-mail | Comments (0) |

You might finish your shopping the night before Christmas, but image buyers don´t!  Image buyers preparing for Christmas campaigns have already started looking for photos.  What will they find?  Your fresh images of sandcastles and bikinis or your one year old images of the children opening Christmas gifts? 

This photo was sent at the end of August.  Good job, Franck!

Our expert photo-researchers recommend submitting your seasonal images 3-4 months before the actual season, so that they appear on our website right when the buyers are looking for them.  It’s not easy to plan and shoot so far ahead, and in some cases, it might be impossible or too expensive, but there are many seasonal images of objects or models which can be made in advance and released into the market right when the buyers want to buy them. 

The following calendar can help you transform from a procrastinator to a strategic planner:

JANUARY - Submit for Mother's day
Photos of gifts, homemade cards, hugs, kisses & other affectionate moments between mother/grandmother and children, spending time together (cooking, playing, talking, sports, crafts) portraits of mothers.

FEBRUARY - Submit for Father’s day & a Birthday Party
Like with Mother's day, photos of gifts, hugs, kisses and affectionate moments between father/grandfather and children, spending time together (sports, talking, playing, cooking, etc) & portraits of fathers.
Also, you can shoot a kid’s birthday party or one for a senior with photos of balloons, candles, cake, gifts, games, surrounded by family or friends etc.

MARCH - Submit for summertime
Show models with summery clothing/sandals, preparations for the summer like putting sunscreen on kids, sunglasses, drinking water, etc.
Also, make images of couples/families preparing and enjoying vacations.

APRIL - Submit for summertime
Photos of a family on a picnic or outing in a park, relaxing on a picnic blanket, details of the picnic food.

MAY - Submit for “Back to school”
Photos of children preparing/going back to school and details of school materials of all kind. This subject was fully covered in this blog entry.

JUNE- Submit for Autumn & Halloween
Photos of people dressed in fall clothing, hats, scarves, etc.
Also photograph pumpkins that are finished or being carved, children in costumes, candy for trick or treating, autumn fruit.

JULY - Submit for Thanksgiving
Photos of traditional food like the turkey, pies, etc and a family eating together at a table full of food. 

AUGUST  - Submit for Christmas and Winter
Photos of Christmas ornaments and tree, gifts, mistletoe, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies and other traditional foods.
Shoot excited/happy kids, adults and kids opening gifts, playing with new toys (the kids at least).

SEPTEMBER - Submit for New Year
Photos of champagne, toasts, clocks striking 12 o’clock, people kissing each other and dressed for a party, lists of New Year’s intentions, illustrate the most common intentions (quitting smoking, diet, etc).

OCTOBER - Submit for Valentine's
Photos of couples holding hands, kissing, hugging, talking & giving gifts, hearts, chocolates, romantic gifts, ring boxes, love letters or a kid’s Valentine.  Make portraits that convey happiness and excitement.

NOVEMBER - Submit for springtime & "Operation Bikini"
Images of spring cleaning, cleaning equipment and products (natural)
Also, you can shoot healthy foods to get in shape for the beach and people exercising.

DECEMBER- Submit for Easter
Easter eggs, baskets, chicks, rabbits, sweets, stuffed animals, spring flowers such as narcissus, children with flowers, bright colored clothes, etc.

Nowadays, any photographer who is serious about making a living in stock, must plan strategically to make the right photos at the right time.



Actions: E-mail | Comments (1) |

Google Translator

Calendar

«  October 2014  »
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
View posts in large calendar

Tag Cloud

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

© Copyright 2014 age fotostock