Good News in Stock Photography


 © Chris Craymer/Trunk

Trunk Archive
“Trunk Archive currently represents many photographers whose names are widely known and respected within our industry,” says Trunk CEO, Matthew Moneypenny. “That said, we are always looking for inventive, forward-thinking, premiere image-makers whose work complements our existing archive,” he adds. With a list of photographers that include Bruce Weber, Walter Chin and Philip-Lorca Dicorcia, Trunk Archive licenses high-end imagery. Just don’t call them a stock agency. “We’re more in the business of representing an artist, their copyright and their archive than we are in the business of building a library of stock imagery,” The biggest difference between a stock agency and what Trunk offers? “We only license images with the approval of the photographer. All the deals are hand negotiated; there’s no rate card, and many of the images in our archive are not model released,” Moneypenny explains. Just where’d this business formula come from? Says Moneypenny, “Our business model is a little bit more based on what I learned from working in television. TV is essentially a syndication-backed business. The same is true for our kind of imagery; it’s mostly made in Los Angeles, New York, London and Paris but it is consumed around the globe. If you open literally any high-end magazine from any market, you’ll find images from our archive.”

© Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Wonderful Machine
Primarily an assignment agency, this Pennsylvania-based boutique responds to stock requests from its roster of clients, which include ad agencies, magazines and book publishers. Publicity director Neil Binkley says the company has been contacted “a little more frequently” in the last year with stock requests, proving the need for higher quality imagery in the marketplace. Asked what separates their Machine from other boutiques, Binkley adds, “Our editing is very important to us. The more images stock sites show with lower quality, the worst reputation they’re going to have. We choose the images we feel are most marketable and most representative of [our photographers’] work. That has helped us maintain the perception that we have a higher standard for quality, which we do.”

© David Zanzinger/Alamy

The stock agency has some 19 million images in their library, which is no small feat. But it’s their corporate social responsibility that makes the company stand out. “We donate 89 percent of our gross profit to medical research. Once we’ve paid our photographers and paid all our bills, 89 percent of the profit that’s left goes into a nonprofit research lab, researching cancer vaccines and DNA damage,” says Alamy CEO James West. Created a few years ago under the direction of Alamy’s chairman and co-founder, the lab, Systems Biology Laboratory UK, focuses on antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy and DNA damage in neurons. As to why a stock agency would devote so much revenue into lab research, West says, “We’re interested in more than profit for profits’ sake.”



PDN August 2016: The Fine-Art Photography Issue



Tout VTS



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