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MTV, BET, Comedy Central, FOX, MySpace, Columbia Records, Jive Label Group and EMI Sign On as Charter Clients of Digital Media Production Company

PictureGroup Offers Leading Entertainment Brands Complete
Photo Solutions Including Production, Distribution, Licensing, Archiving, Integrated Content Marketing & Event Management

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 10, 2009 – Leading music and entertainment photographer, Frank Micelotta, announced today the launch of PictureGroup, a unique digital media production company poised to provide top entertainment companies with an integrated solution for producing, distributing, licensing, archiving, marketing and managing their photo needs and assets.  Based on years of experience and in response to his high-profile clients’ input and feedback, Micelotta has developed a unique strategy to reduce costs, ensure a maximum return and exposure for clients’ visual content and manage entertainment brands’ photo and video assets.

PictureGroup also announced a strategic alliance with The Associated Press to license photos through the AP Images platform.  Under the arrangement, PictureGroup will distribute content through the AP Images Web site to more than 57,000 users worldwide.  At the same time, AP Images will offer premium content from PictureGroup to its online clients.  Furthermore, AP Images will be able to offer entertainment assignment services and the option of using PictureGroup photographers.

“I have recognized for some time that media companies have been grappling with the cost and complexity of producing and archiving their marketing visuals in-house and that there was a need for a full-service, very customer focused solution.  PictureGroup offers the perfect combination of cost-reduction and photo asset management, while at the same time creating a new revenue stream for the companies from the photography taken at their premiere industry events,” says Frank Micelotta, CEO and Chief Photographer.  “I am also thrilled to be partnering with the world’s largest and preeminent news organization, the Associated Press, and believe that this alliance allows PictureGroup to provide a unique offering to the entertainment industry.”

“We look forward to working with all of PictureGroup’s photographers to expand AP’s entertainment content, while furthering the evolution of AP Images into a dominant provider of commercial entertainment assignment services,” said Dan Becker, AP’s Director of Entertainment Content.

Numerous well-known companies and properties have already signed on as clients of PictureGroup including MTV, BET, Comedy Central, FOX, MySpace, Columbia Records, Jive Label Group, RCA Records and EMI.

“Frank is everything our business needs from a photographer — affable, flexible, service-oriented and relationship-driven,” said Carole Robinson, EVP, Communications, MTV Networks. “We’ve enjoyed working with Frank over the years, and we look forward to growing that relationship as many of our networks sign on for the enhanced service, capabilities and reach he’s delivering through PictureGroup.”

In addition to the A-list roster of clients, Micelotta also has incredibly strong relationships with the photo editors at all of the leading entertainment publications including People Magazine, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, among others.

“Frank isn’t just a talented photographer. He seems to know everybody, seems to be everywhere, and seems to be one of the nicest guys in the industry. I will be watching PictureGroup with great interest,” commented Brittain Stone, US Weekly Photography Director.

Micelotta has been the man behind the lens as the official photographer for America’s preeminent music and entertainment events for more than 20 years, including the MTV Video Music Awards, the Grammy Awards, Live Aid, Nelson Mandela’s “46664:Give One minute of your life to Aids,” and Quincy Jones’ “We are the Future,” and has served as the tour photographer for Madonna, Jay-Z,  and the Rolling Stones, among others.  Micelotta has captured events, including Madonna kissing Britney at the MTV Video Music Awards, which appeared on the cover of US Weekly and became the biggest-selling issue in the magazine’s history.  He also shot behind the scenes with the Rolling Stones as they were getting ready to launch their 2005 tour.  In 1998, Micelotta co-founded ImageDirect with Kevin Fitzgerald, the first all digital entertainment agency, which revolutionized the entertainment photography business by creating a valuable digital archive that could be accessed immediately and globally.  In 2003, ImageDirect was acquired by Getty Images and Micelotta became Getty’s Director of Entertainment.  The result was an explosion of sales and distribution, transforming Getty into a leader in entertainment photography.

Micelotta will run PictureGroup with Paul Melcher, another veteran in the photo media business.  Melcher was most recently CEO of Rex USA and V.P of sales at DigitalRailroad, Inc. Prior to that he was Director of North American Operations and Sales for Hachette Filipacchi Photo Group ( where he doubled revenues for the U.S. market in less than a year and led integration initiatives for numerous prestigious agencies, such as Gamma, Rapho and TOP.  Melcher and Micelotta were also partners at ImageDirect where Melcher guided the development of the company’s online real-time distribution platform, streamlined workflow to enable better distribution of more images to key buyers, and managed relationships with corporate clients such as ABC, MTV, FOX, NBC, Atlantic Records, USA Today and the NFL.

Elyssia Stratton is also joining as Director of Editing and Workflow.  Elyssia Stratton is the former staff photo editor for NBC, and freelance editor for The Associated Press, USA Today and Getty Images as well as an original staff member of ImageDirect.  Elyssia’s extensive experience over 25 years has generated a high demand for her services as a photographer, photo editor, and retoucher.

PictureGroup will combine Micelotta’s existing photography business and archive with some of the most prolific and talented photographers working in the entertainment field.  Founding photographers will include:

Evan Agostini will be one of PictureGroup’s New York based photographers.  Agostini has been in the editorial photo business for 20 years, 13 as an entertainment event photographer and 7 years doing library and photo editing work at Liaison Agency, part of the Gamma-Liaison photo news network.  Agostini has been published in nearly every major magazine and newspaper around the world.

Scott Gries will be one of PictureGroup’s New York based photographers.  He specializes in advertising for publicity for television and film.  His clients have included MTV, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Pfizer, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sony, Pepsi, AOL, Virgin Records and Rolling Stone.

Los Angeles based Tammie Arroyo will be PictureGroup’s key West coast event photographer.  She has worked for Michaelson Photo Agency, Retna Ltd., Sygmy, IPOL, Ron Galella and Celebrity Photo Agency.  In 1994, she went out on her own, first as Tammie Arroyo Photography, and then in 2002 under the name American Foto Features.

One of the premiere and most experienced red carpet photographers in the world, Gregg DeGuire will be a PictureGroup photographer based in Los Angeles.  DeGuire is a 27 year veteran photographer who has shot all of the major celebrity “Hollywood” events including movie premieres, award shows and Hollywood parties.

One of New York’s best-known celebrity photographers, Marion Curtis has been in the industry for fourteen years.  He is the co-founder of StarPix Celebrity Images, whose clients include Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, HBO, and Sony.  His work can be seen daily in the NY Post, Condé Nast and Hearst magazines, People, Us, InStyle and OK, to name a few.

Based in London, MJ Kim’s professional life of photography began 1999 when he joined The Daily Telegraph to cover nation’s news stories. In 2001, he had joined news agency ‘Press Association’ and in 2004, he became a senior photographer at the world largest image group Getty Images. After three years at Getty, he started his own photography company Image Factory.  Over the last 10 years, MJ KIM has been the tour photographer for the Spice Girls and Paul McCartney, personal photographer for Victoria Beckham, and has traveled with TRH Charles and Camilla for their state visit to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India.  MJ also captured the very last official photo of Michael Jackson.

Other Contributing Photographers will include Brad Barket (New York), Todd Plitt (New York), Fernando Leon (New York), Ben Rose (Atlanta), Mark Davis (Los Angeles), Vince Bucci (Los Angeles), Amanda Edwards (Los Angeles) and Marc Deley (Boston).  Additional photographers and clients will be announced soon.

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Marnie Black
MB Public Relations
(917) 828-7308

also a great interview of Frank Micelotta by John Harrington on his blog

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