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Jo Terry Q&A – Picture Media Celebrates 18 Years

Photo credit: Patrick Crangle
Jo Terry
Photo Agency: Picture Media Pty. Ltd.
Position: Owner/Director

Describe Picture Media in one sentence.
An independent boutique Australian-owned media agency
When did you start Picture Media?
October 1991
Where are you based?
In a terrace house in Surry Hills in Central Sydney
Why did you start the agency?
I have always been passionate about pictures so I never went into this purely for profit, but essentially I returned to Australia after living in London and running one of the world’s biggest syndication agencies, World Press Network. A friend and former employee of mine had also, some years earlier, moved back home to Sydney and asked me to help her get the business up and running. It was only meant to be a few days a week until the business was established …
How many full time staff in the office?
We have 11 full time staff but with part-timers and casuals keeping the 24-hour cycle going it can be up to 14.
I notice your picture partners are mainly news and celebrity based, what other stock photo areas are you strong in?
It may seem like we are all about news and celebrity – and certainly that’s a key part of our business – but we have more than 6.5 million images and pride ourselves on the diverse content we have so that we cater to absolutely everyone, whether a gossip magazine, ad creative agency looking for generic and inspirational images or an architecture bible, for example. And, of course, we represent StockFood which is the leading international food image agency for creative professionals, offering the largest food database on the internet.
Do you offer subscription deals with editorial image users?
You have to be open to consider any type of arrangement these days.
Do you offer royalty free images?
Yes. FoodCollection is our royalty-free brand.
How much would I pay for a single 1/4 page celebrity picture in a national monthly magazine?
It really depends on things like exclusivity, but the key to our business is that we have a personal approach which allows us to negotiate prices on a case-by-case basis.
Has the editorial picture market in Australia suffered in the global recession?
Clearly, print editorial budgets have been slashed but as with any other business in the world today we are driven to pro-actively find new markets and business opportunities.
What have you done as a company to maintain your position this year?
We’ve focused on nurturing existing client relationships while also building new ones and in new areas.
What is your relationship with Reuters?
We are the Australian distributor for Reuters Pictures
How did you land representation of Marie Claire?
I personally have been dealing with Groupe Marie Claire content since 1987
Which picture subjects are you looking to build content in, now?
High-end beauty is an area we are focused on right now as we find ways to complement our top-tier collections, as well as premium studio photography. Both of these are areas where demand has grown.
Do you represent any historical images?
Do you commission images?
What will 2009 bring for Picture Media?
Many new opportunities… among them our coming of age (we turn 18 on Sunday 4 October) and the re-launch of our new website.
This interview is the second in a new series of short Q&A’s from We will be exploring the people, the products, the services and the events that make our industry tick. The interviews are designed to be a ‘get-to-know-the- subject’ service for readers.
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