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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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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Calling all photographers!!! Now that you are about to have your children, your friends' children, your nieces and nephews & even your grandchildren available all summer long, how about getting out there and involving them in taking the images that clients will be looking for in the next few months?

Our expert photo-researchers recommend submitting your seasonal images & videos 3-4 months before the actual season, so that they appear on our website right when the buyers are looking for them.

It may seem far away now, but in the fall, children and youth of all ages will be returning to their nurseries, day-cares, schools, and universities… and we want to be ready with a great selection of photos and videos that capture this moment, providing a fresh supply of relevant images just as the season kicks off.

Submit now for “Back to school”  - photos & videos of children preparing/going back to school and details of school materials of all kind.

Need more ideas on Back To School photography? CLICK HERE


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We’re very pleased to announce the extension of our THP network in Asia, thanks to incorporation of new Members Oriental Touch and Daiichi Colour to the THP Photo services community. These new agents/providers, based in Hong Kong and the Philippines, license Rights Managed, Royalty Free and Low-Budget Royalty Free imagery.

 

“Oriental Touch was the first stockphoto library established in S.E.Asia, and we have a 42 year history in this market, answering the need for creative and advertising productions in our region.

Oriental Touch has developed an important supply of images focusing on Asian elements, particularly travel and lifestyle.

Daiichi Colour, the Philippines branch office of Oriental Touch, serves the creative and advertising clients with the best stock photos in all categories, supplied by several supporting providers from Asia, Europe, America and our own.

As part of the THP network, we will focus on sales and production of more new images to submit to our member partners. We appreciate the continuous support from all the photo providers to Oriental Touch and Daiichi Colour via the THP.”

- Virginia Ho. Director, Oriental Touch.


age fotostock & the THP would like to offer a warm welcome to Director Virginia Ho and all of her team at Oriental Touch and Daiichi Colour.


Like to know more about the THP? click here!

 


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We are constantly asked by photographers to provide them with image ideas for shoots that will be relevant according to current market needs. Here you have one idea for which there is always a great demand.

¿Do you have kids in your family, close circle of friends or acquaintances? Yes? Then you are so lucky, not only because they sure make life more fun, but because the daily life of children, with their routines and activities can be a great source of very interesting moments to photograph, especially to make natural images that show emotions. The children don’t have to be the cutest ad-perfect-kids; you just need know how to bring out their expressivity, whether humoristic  or completely the opposite.

Take the following essential points into consideration before you get started:

  • Model releases, model releases, model releases!!!! Even if the kids are your nieces, godsons or your best friend’s first child, to make your images available for the market, and to avoid any legal complications in the future, make sure that you have the model releases signed by their legal guardian.  See the model release section of our Road Atlas  and pay special attention to the paragraph regarding minors Model Releases.
  • Be very careful of how the children are portrayed, as the most innocent of the images can be considered highly suggestive for some. And always remember this: ABSOLUTELLY NO NUDITY. Images of naked or semi naked children will not be accepted. 

So here is a list of ideas based on an ordinary day of any kid that we hope serve you as a source for inspiration.

  • Wake up is a beautiful morning! - Morning routines
  • Lunch time!- During the day 
  • Home Sweet Home -Afternoon/Evening
  • Winding Down - Night time

The gallery ADORABLE CREATURES is a sample of children images that can be found at age fotostock that we are hoping will serve you as an additional source of ideas.


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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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