Photographers are an important part of any stock photography agency and while this is an obvious truth it seems when looking from inside the industry that there have always been “two sides”. Photographers on one side and the stock agencies on the other. The question is: Has this been healthy? Apparently not. When we see how stock photography is struggling today and suffering from a wave of “selling cheap” it is clear this is affecting the “two sides” sides of the entire industry. So is a solution for this?
age fotostock has the theory that no matter how tragic the present and the future might seem to be, most players in this industry want to stay in the business, even if they have to change their traditional business model to a technology driven way of working and relating to clients. Therefore, in these changing times, interrelated communication between the artificially created “two sides” of the industry becomes essential. This is why age fotostock has introduced an "age photographers Social Network," aiming to boost intercommunication between photographers, along with increased participation by age fotostock staff, including Alfonso Gutiérrez, the CEO of the company that maintains there an active presence.
Unlike other forums, blogs and public social networks that require registration, photographers are not allowed to hide behind pseudonyms in the age fotostock Photographers Social Network. age fotostock invites photographers that have been active in the last two years by sending them an e-mail. All of the participant’s real names are used in the Social Network by the members. If anyone wants to suggest improvements or complain about something, they are free to say what they think. age fotostock will respond, but unlike a public blog, in the photographers Social Network, everyone can say things relevant to members of the network and not to the entire world.
The Social Network has been operative for the past two months and has surprised age fotostock; Alfonso Gutierrez says “I have been surprised by the activity that has developed and we have learned about areas that we can improve that were simply oblivious to us. If we can openly chat regularly on the little matters, about our needs (of both photographer and agency), about the ways to compete in a variable business model, and if we can supply more information constantly and when asked, at least we will either be jumping for joy together... or at least, crying as one community.”