21 Oct 2007 Meet the Microstock Industry

My expedition to PhotoPlus Expo in New York has been an excellent opportunity to meet with many of the microstock celebrities I’ve been communicating with since starting this blog. Not only is it exciting to meet so many industry people, but also to bring what has otherwise been an exclusively online experience into the physical realm.

Here’s a roundup of the meetings I’ve had. Each one was an honor, and extremely informative.

Bryan Zmijewski & Lee TorrensMy first night in New York, I met with Bryan Zmijewski from LuckyOliver. We spoke about the industry, markets and terminology, LuckyOliver’s past and future, and about the microstock contributor community. Like all my interactions with Bryan, it was extremely educational and left my head spinning.

Bryan is a lot of fun to talk with, and he has an amazing mind for strategy and marketing. He’s very generous with advice for contributors, so I recommend taking him up on his open invitations to meet with contributors whenever he’s traveling. I also learned how to properly pronounce Zmijewski.

Lee Torrens & Ellen BoughnPrior to our panel, I had lunch with Ellen Boughn from Dreamstime. Ellen gave me a lot of great information about what to expect during the panel which gave me a lot of confidence. We also spoke in detail about Dreamstime evolution and why Ellen decided to get involved in microstock herself.

Ellen introduced me to an amazing array of people at the exhibition. With her experience and position in the industry, she knows everyone in stock photography. Whenever she would walk from place to place she was constantly stopping to greet people she passed.

She introduced me to Jack Hollingsworth and his partner in PhotosIndia, Manav Lohia. I attended Jack’s presentation titled Stock Unplugged: Shooting Lifestyle Stock Today. It was inspirational to hear such tightly packed information and advice from an ultra-successful stock photographer. The seminar audience were active asking many questions. Jack kept us all entertained, as well as impressed with his knowledge.

Lee Torrens & Jim PickerellI also met long time stock photo industry consultant and commentator Jim Pickerell who is currently writing at Selling-Stock. I stood in on a conversation between Jim and Bryan Zmijewski discussing the future of the stock photography market. These are two extremely analytical thinkers with expert knowledge of the marketplace. Many times I struggled to follow the conversation.

Jim participated on the panel, ‘The Media Looks at Stock’ along with Chris Ferrone of About the Image, Patrick Donehue from Corbis and PDN‘s Daryl Lang, who also moderated the microstock panel. This panel was amazing as it consisted of so many industry greats discussing strategy. It was particularly interesting when their points of view didn’t agree!

Lee Torrens, Alan Meckler, & Steve KapsinowAfter the panel I went to the StockXpert stand where I met Steve Kapsinow, StockXpert’s community guru. Steve connects StockXpert to the community of contributors and buyers, acting as a professional listener of the market. Also there was Patricia Vargas, the Senior Directory of Content at StockXpert, who had an impressive list of views on the state of the market.
When I arrived Alan Meckler was attending the StockXpert stand. Alan is the owner of Jupiter Media, who own StockXpert, among many other properties. I was fortunate enough to share 30 minutes speaking with him, gaining an insight into the world of a media mogul.

Ron Chapple and Lee TorrensAnother microstock celebrity I was particularly keen to meet was Ron Chapple. Ron is one of the most successful and generous stock photographers in the business, and extremely interesting to speak with. He participated in a panel titled Do It Yourself Creative Research. Ron gave an informative presentation providing some great insights for how to achieve success as a stock photographer, most of which I’m going to borrow for blog posts, except those that Ron as already blogged about himself.

Also on the microstock panel were iStockphoto‘s Kelly Thompson and Adam Brotman from Corbis, representing SnapVillage. I didn’t get a chance to have extended conversations with either of them, but it was great to meet them and share the panel with two such successful executives in the microstock space.

Meeting all these industry greats has been an honor, and I’m particularly happy to report that they’re all nice people and just as intelligent and talented as you’d expect. Thankyou to everyone I met for being so welcoming and generous with your knowledge.

1Comment
  • john
    Posted at 13:28h, 23 October Reply

    hey lee,

    let me know if you are still in nyc. would love to meet up for a beer and a chat. ill be over at picturehouse if you are going to be there tomorrow. my cell is 2156882751. best, john

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