World Creativity and Innovation Day

Now here's something we can get our heads around: April 21st is World Creativity and Innovation Day. Who knew? World Creativity and Innovation Day is a day set aside to encourage creative thinking. We're reminded to try something new and bold - see with a new pair of eyes! And what's the worst that can happen? The world might just be a better and more interesting place.

 

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Spring Time

Spring is here!

We're experiencing a serious case of Spring Fever here at age fotostock. Our symptoms? Brighter moods, positive attitude, a general joie de vivre, even a twinkle in our eyes when we gaze on that special someone. As the late Robin Williams once said, "Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"

 

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Start spreading the news... age fotostock CEO Alfonso Gutiérrez and Content Manager Julieanne Eason will be leaving Barcelona this Friday to attend the 18th annual PACA conference "Opportunity In Change" on the 20th and 22nd of October, followed by the Visual Connections event on the 23rd, all taking place in central New York.

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. These panels will be chaired by our age fotostock USA sales manager Susan Jones. Not be missed - Alfonso as CEPIC President will be speaking his opinion on Image Registries on Tuesday at 11am. We hope to be enlightened by the variety of talks in between meetings with our agents and providers.

Visual Connections is a one day event which brings together stock agencies and existing or potential clients. Our age fotostock USA team will be there representing the company - please feel welcome to drop in and visit us!

For more information about PACA, CEPIC and BAPLA click here to check out one of our previous posts.

 


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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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Inspired by sailors' clothing, Coco Chanel created her first nautical collection in 1917, with stripes and lines plentifully stamped on dresses and shirts. This elegant aesthetic, synonymous with casual chic Parisian style, continues to be popular in both catwalks and trend blogs today.

Spots became fashionable in the 40s and 50s due to the influence of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, and the possession of a polka dot dress became a definite must as soon as Lucille Ball made it her staple in the hit television show I Love Lucy. Since then, dots have also taken an essential role in our wardrobe as well as in general fashion globally – just take a look at the rise in fame of artworks by Yayoi Kusama, "The Princess of Polka Dots".


Stripes and polka dots combine to create a look full of color, life and fun – an irresistible invitation that always rewards with a smile. Do you dare?


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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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