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PAN 60 Second Interview: James Claydon

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Name:James Claydon
Title: CEO
Photo library business: Imvest Ltd.
Parent company of London Features International and Idols


What age did you leave school?
18.
How did you get into the picture library business?
I have always had an interest in photography but fell into the business
by chance by seeing an ad in the Guardian for a job at the once mighty
stock agency Pictor International who were looking for a admin/junior
salesperson. Ended up eventually becoming Sales Manager in London as
well as running the New York for a time.
What were you doing before that?
Temping.
Where is LFI based?
Sunny Tottenham Hale.
How many staff at the main LFI/Idols office?
11.
Describe your Monday morning?
Organized chaos, much the same as every other day. Checking to see what
new content has come in, what are we covering that day, what placement
we have in the papers that day. Contacting new photographers and
potential partners in the UK and around the world as we look to expand
our reach and client base.
What are you scanning at the moment?
Between Idols and LFI we have a physical archive in excess of 10 million
images so that’s a bit of a sore point at the moment but basically
looking to ensure that we have the cream of both archives online.
What photo content are you currently looking for?
Better red carpet and party content from Europe and the US, as well as
some more news oriented content from around the globe.
What was your best selling image in April (2009)?
Kate Moss opening the Top Shop store in New York by a long distance.
Which picture library web site has recently caught your eye?
In terms of competitors I really like the Italian agency SGP Italia’s site at the moment simple design but is pretty clean and easy to navigate and doesn’t suffer from information overload like so many sites right now. I love the website Augustbut possibly more because of the stunning content they have than the uniqueness of the site. Like a lot of people I am very interested to see what Frank Micelotta’s new venture, Picture Group, will look like online.
Which websites do you visit daily other that LFI, Idols and Photo
Archive News?

The Sun Online, Mail Online, Thoughts of a Bohemian, PDN Online, Photo
Business News, People.com, the list goes on….
Which newspapers and magazines do you read regularly?
Too many, all of them, but more checking for LFI and Idols credits than
having time to read much anymore.
What are you doing when you are not selling photos?
2 weeks ago on holiday with my daughter.
Favorite food?
Indian.
Cinema or pub?
Pub.
Ideal Friday night?
As long as I don’t get a call on my mobile from someone with a problem
then I’m happy.
Ideal holiday destination?
Australia.
Lastly what advice would you give to any new picture library.
Make sure you know your market and clients and have a point of
difference, there are far too many identikit agencies out there in all
forms of photography.