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Launched: Piemags photo library – read the PAN Q&A with owner Paul Fearn

A brand new photo library launches today called Piemags. The library licenses millions of images and carries the strapline – ‘An Editorial Powerhouse for Specialist Stock Photography’.

As usual PAN wanted to know more, so we spoke with the owner and boss of Piemags Paul Fearn …here’s what we learnt about him and his new venture into the stock photography arena.

Paul Fearn piloting Piemags from the skies!

PAN: Introduce Piemags for us in a sentence.
Paul: An Editorial Powerhouse for Specialist Stock Photography, friendly, reliable, here to help.

PAN: You have to tell us about the library name – Piemags.
PAUL: I can’t take the credit, my sister came up with the name, as we source our image collections from all over the world she decided we were like magpies, collecting all the shiny good stuff and bringing it back to the nest, she then played around with Magpies and the fact that the word ‘image’ is in Magpie and put the two together to come up with Piemags.

PAN: How many images do you currently offer?
PAUL: Over 3 million with new collections being added daily.

PAN: Do you offer footage?
PAUL: Yes, at the moment mainly modern military footage but we will have archival military and some exciting general footage coming very soon.

PAN: Is Piemags predominantly a military photo library?
PAUL: Not really, our biggest collections are History and Art, but with my background in the military we have a huge selection of military stills and footage.

Paul on location building his own stock portfolio for Piemags

PAN: What were you doing before you started licensing images?
PAUL: I began life in the Royal Air Force then took on various driving jobs – lorries, vans and taxi driving. I was always interested in aircraft so started taking photos and videos of various aircraft around Europe and the US. This opened some doors, and with my background in the RAF I was offered photo commissions by various military museums in the United States and Europe and even more doors opened. I started licensing various other subjects through the big agencies, and then decided I wanted to offer more to the museums and art collections as well as the individual contributor and the best way to do that was to set up Piemags.

PAN: Where are you based?
PAUL: South Wales, UK, at the foot of the Welsh Valleys – Piemags is based in the now not so small market town of Bridgend with excellent links to the road, rail and air networks. It’s a great area to live and work with the mountains or heritage coast 10 minutes away, there is plenty of fresh air to walk and get creative ideas for Piemags.

PAN: Does the library provide RM or RF images or a mixture?
PAUL: Images are mainly RM but more and more RF. The current footage collection is RF but as other collections come on board there will be some RM clips.

PAN: How much do you charge for a RM image on an editorial website?
PAUL: We have a very simple pricing structure from one click purchases all the way through to a complex but simple to use calculator. An example of RM is $29.99 for an editorial website and for newspapers and books $39.99. Saying all that we are also open to discuss payment plans and pricing with anyone from the single user to the biggest corporate users requiring 1000’s of images a month, with Piemags there is no need to shop around for the best price we are flexible to match and manage your budgetary needs.

First flight, 120 feet in 12 seconds, 10:35 a.m.; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina , First flight, December 17, 1903. The Library of Congress / Piemags – click it!

PAN: Do you have a favourite image or collection of images on Piemags?
PAUL: No surprise here, I love the Wright Brothers Collection of images (above)and their first flight image moves me every time I look at it, what happened in that image had a huge bearing on my father and my life. With the Wrights developing and perfecting flight this led to the creation of the aeroplane as we know it today, this sparked my fathers interest and he joined the Air Training Corps (ATC) when he was 12 and then spent 30+ years in the Royal Air Force. There was no way I was not going to have an interest in aviation, I followed in his footsteps through joining the ATC then the RAF, I took it further and gained my pilots licence. The interest in aircraft led me to photographing them which eventually led me into stock photography and ultimately setting up Piemags.

PAN: You are offering contributors to Piemags a generous 75% royalties deal – tell us why?
PAUL: This relates to the heritage collections. Piemags believes that the contributor should have the lions share of any royalties, and we want to attract the major art galleries, museums and individual image collections to Piemags, where our goal is to offer 75% of any royalties; here again flexibility is the key. At Piemags you can talk to us and we will have your best interests in mind. The world’s heritage collections, archives, museums and galleries do outstanding work and we at Piemags would like to provide them with the funds to continue this work with the best royalty split in the industry.

PAN: What do you do when you are not uploading images to Piemags?
PAUL: I have my private pilots licence, so if the weather is good I like to fly, it’s a great stress reliever. That sounds like a strange sentence but the concentration and planning needed for a flight concentrates the mind and any worries and concerns in your daily life melt away, most of all flying is so much fun!

PAN: What was the last decent book you read?
PAUL: Just finished two – Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Battle for France : a New History by James Holland and slightly left field, Dreamland: An Autobiography by Bob Lazar (All about UFO’s and his time working at Area 51)

The Piemags pool car ….!

PAN: Spa day or a long drive in the car?
PAUL: I’m lucky to drive a Ferrari so a long drive around the country lanes.

PAN: Book or a good film?
PAUL: Both, but lately reading more.

PAN: Last newspaper you read?
PAUL: I tend to flick through them all to get an idea of the editorial content.

PAN: Are you currently welcoming new content to Piemags? – and how can potential contributors contact you?
PAUL: A big yes, Piemags has the goal of representing the big art galleries, museums and private image collections. I want Piemags to be the go to place for image buyers to find the content they need all in one place. These institutions have been reluctant to use stock agencies in the past but Piemags wants to change this and show them we can work together and provide them with a royalty income to look after and improve their great collections. We are open to talk to the individual collector right through to the world’s leading museums. Just email us at [email protected] or give me a call on 01656 713706

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