Berlin, Germany based 25 year old photo agency Reflex Media will close it’s shop door at the end of this month.
Owner Michael Symanowski told PhotoArchiveNews.com after we contacted him on the news via email: “Hi Will, yes, indeed we have closed down the agency due to unsatisfying business development and, besides that, due to my age (65). I think I deserve my retirement and start to enjoy a life without pressure.”
“Besides I have now reached the age to say goodbye to work and stress and say hello to some nice final years (cross fingers). It was the way our business became. All the big players collected smaller agencies and merged and this made it possible to offer their ‘content’ (nobody speaks about photos any longer, just content) for small fees, even for monthly flat rates and so on. As an old fashioned agent I have always set the focus on the photographers who supplied us with their work and I refused to give it away to the publishers for ridiculous fees. Less turnarounds with increasing expenses for archiving the photos was threatening our company so we had to call it quits in order not to endanger our savings for the later years. We had a perfect time years ago, but it all became annoying for us and we had to stop it.”
PAN: Good for you Michael, I am sure there are many other independent photo agency owners and directors considering their future given the current conditions in the photo licensing market. Enjoy that retirement and look me up if you get to London!