PAN Photo Industry Interview
Anthony Harris – CEO at high-end creative image library Image Source
PAN: How did you start in the industry.
AH: I have always loved Photography – both as an Art and as a Science. After finishing my degree in Photographic Science, I worked briefly as a freelance photographer before being hired by Tony Stone to work in his creative team, just a year or so before it was acquired by Getty Images in 1995. I was then at Getty Images for 13 years of industry evolution. As the Vice President of Artist Relations at Getty, I had a front row seat and participated in the changes when the industry shifted from analog to totally digital. I have absolute loved been part of an industry that has undergone such a revolution – meeting so many amazing people over the years including lots of very talented, passionate and productive photographers many of whom I still work with today. In 2006 I decided to set up my own business with 21 shareholder photographers called Cultura Images producing and supplying mainly European sourced RF imagery. In 2012 we merged with Image Source where I am now the CEO.
How long have you been with Image Source?
Our companies merged in 2012 and the past four years have flown by.
What were you doing before that?
My life and passion has been Photography as you can see.
How many staff at the Image Source HQ?
We have 20 full time people across our offices in central London, the USA and Germany as well as many freelancers. It’s quite a creative community!
How many contributing stock photographers?
We have around 700 photographers on our books who create around 4500 premium Royalty free and Rights managed images each month for our international network of agents and to our clients directly at Imagesource.com. I believe we supply more premium images than any other producer in the industry, something that we have been doing for some time and which we are very proud of as it is not only about quantity but quality too.
How many photographers are you working with producing new stock images?
Our photographers and filmmakers are located worldwide with large communities in London, Munich, Los Angeles, New York and Milan. We work hard to provide very close support from providing on site art direction, to workshops and access to trend and customers needs. Our current collection is approx 300,000 images with around 4500 new ones added every month.
Walk us through your typical day at Image Source London HQ.
I usually come in to central London on my motorbike which helps me clear my head for the day – I’ve owned a bike since I was 17 and it is something that I love.
I have the pleasure of working with an extremely talented, experienced and wonderful bunch of people at Image Source and our day normally starts discussing the creative direction of the business, new signings and work that is coming in. We like looking at pictures, talking pictures and being HQ’d in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, we also take a lot of inspiration from what we see around us.
We have a very dynamic vibe at our office and there’s always lots of discussion around Art, Photography, Music and currently, Politics!
What are you currently working on.
What we are always working on – how to craft pictures that are relevant, authentic, current and commercial. We’re also currently planning our trip to DMLA in New York where we plan to meet many of our wonderful agents and photographers.
What is the future for Rights Managed images?
Good question and it very much depends on your perspective.
We still generate very good returns for Rights Managed Imagery but we also recognise an important number of clients want a picture that has all the licensing rights included.
We track performance of our collections very closely and will continue to guide our photographers to make the best investment decisions in new shoots and the best way to market those through Image Source.
What percentage of the Image Source content is Royalty Free?
We have two RF collections which make up around 80% of our total imagery, Cultura which is photographed mainly by European based photographers and Image Source produced mainly in the US. Cultura RM is our non exclusive RM collection and Signature which is the collection we produce for Getty Images. Our aim with these collections is to offer customers a wide range of styles and subjects across both RM and RF license models. Our photographers can choose which collections they market their imagery through with a close guiding hand from our creative team. Our agents and in particular their sales teams are in many senses our customers so we work hard to understand their needs and then shape that into briefs for our photographers.
Have you seen any change to business at Image Source post-BREXIT?
None at all except that the revenue generated in US $ is turning into more sterling. Most of our revenue is generated outside of the UK so we hope that we are and will be in a safe position when Brexit does occur and if there is any negative impact on the markets. Image Source is very much a global business and whilst we very much value our business in Europe and the ease of doing it there, we have also been doing business for a long time across the globe particularly in Japan, China and the USA.
Which photographer – in your opinion – is the one to watch right now?
Corey Jenkins http://www.coreyjenkinsphoto.com/
Corey is a young, energetic photographer who effortlessly captures fantastic action and sports images. His lighting is very effective and dramatic but always fits the mood of the imagery he’s shooting. He’s contemporary but not faddy and his images look like they are shot by a photographer who understands sport, the body and where to put the camera to create the most impactful action pictures.
Which 3 images on the Images Source website represent where you are with cutting edge stock at the moment? and why
1) STOCK PHOTO OF YOUNG WOMAN WITH PINK DREADLOCKS GIGGLING WHILST EATING APPLE IN PARK – IS09AN4XN
This image catches a genuine moment. The model is not conventional – and her ethnicity is not typically Caucasian. This kind of flavour and local feel are what picture buyers are looking for when buying
2) STOCK PHOTO OF COTON DE TULEAR SHAKING ITSELF TO DRY ITS FUR – IS09AN1AG
A difficult picture to take without the result looking like a mess. Reduced colour palette focuses the attention on the shapes, patterns and energy of the picture. Simplicity is another trend at the moment and this image conveys this, with a dash of humour.
3) STOCK PHOTO OF LOW ANGLE VIEW OF YOUNG WOMAN IN GYM DOING MID AIR PUSH UP – IS09AU9J6
Fitness and health are always key themes in Stock. This is a different take on ‘working out’ and it’s as if a pause button has been pushed, suspending the model in the air and conveying tranquility for a split second before her workout continues.
What does the rest of 2016 hold for Image Source.
We are going to continue to build on our motion offer, building a collection of clips that conveys the authenticity and quality of our Still Image collections, we’re looking forward to meeting with our distributors at DMLA in Oct and finishing the year having set up great relationships with our new partners Shutterstock, Adobe and Pond5.
Pub or Restaurant?
Both thank you. I’m partial to a beer or two..
Bowling or Cinema?
Definitely Cinema although very little this year has really struck a chord. Best bit of video I’ve seen was the highly amusing and bizarre new advert for Kenzo perfume, much better than the derivative nonsense that generally gets released at the flicks.
Vacation or staycation?
Both, I love travelling around the UK, seen a lot of it from the seat of my motorbike but also love going abroad, my passion is rock climbing so anywhere with a cliff face, I luckily managed to get to Mallorca in the summer, a constant favourite of mine.
Magazine or eMagazine?
Emagazine – a complete current affairs nut, NY times online, The Times Online, BBC news, especially interested in the state of politics in the UK and US, both fascinating and frightening!!
Digital SLR or Phone camera? and can we see some examples …
below – Ok, first one wasn’t taken by me but it is of me! Climbing in Portland
below – This one is by me…Seaford in England
below – The lake district – a favourite place
Which magazines/newspapers/journals/websites do you read weekly for your job?
Lots of things including Vimeo, youtube, instagram and facebook. Places where the team and I can get inspired and keep ahead of the creative curve. Additionally the sites below.
It’s Nice That
British Journal of Photography
A Photo Editor – Rob Haggart
Go See PR
Pro Photo Daily
How do potential Image Source contributors approach the agency?
Photographers can get all the details here http://www.imagesource.com/shoot-for-us
Filmmakers here www.footage.co.uk
PAN: Thank you Anthony.
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