A few good things are happening in the Photo agency world, at least in the USA.
First and foremost, it is the recent launch of ElevationPhotos. Created by Mick Magsino , ex Corbis, ex ImageDirect, Ex Getty, this new celebrity photo agency based in Los Angeles works exclusively on assignment. Instead of adding more red carpet images to the current flow (A photo editor at In Touch told me recently they receive about 80,000 images a week on spec), Mick applies a more intelligent approach by only covering events for which they are hired for. And it is working well. elevation photo were the official photographers of the Sarasota Film festival. Mick also finds the time to write a blog here.
Expect to see more of them in the near future.
Not too unrelated, is the opening of the Photoshot office in New York. Photoshot is a big agency in the UK, having recently acquired many smaller collection. Their offering is huge and covers the whole range of news, celebrity, nature, travel, sport and creative photography. They are, in a way, a smaller, yet very potent, Corbis/Getty. They distribute Elevation Photos in the UK. This opening is big news since it will offer a third offering to the US market, and place itself above Jupitermedia. Already, a lot of picture buyers cannot wait to have access to this huge pool of yet unseen images. Kris Hook, ex Corbis, heads the US sales operation.
Finally, there is the relaunch of AbacaUSA. The french photo agency has entered a stronger relationship with PA photo (the AP of england) in order to combine their forces and resources in the USA. Both agency also have a very rich library as well as a very active desk. Already in the USA for many years, Abaca has the advantage of knowing the market better than the two previous agencies. Coupled with PA’s firepower and credibility, this could be a killer relationship. Bruno Thiery, ex Abaca France is spearheading the effort.
As previously said, the editorial market is still strong and seems to be going the right way by partnering and finding new growth opportunities. Compare to the declining, disonauresque RM Commercial stock industry, this is refreshing news. Is it that the people running editorial agencies are smarter ?