14 Apr 2010 Tony Stone Joins Vivozoom

Tony StoneTony Stone (the person!) announced today that he has joined Vivozoom to help the innovative new microstock agency “sharpen focus on the most relevant images”.

Who is Tony Stone?

Those of us who entered stock photography with microstock aren’t as familiar with Tony Stone as those in the traditional sector of the market. But Tony is a living legend in the stock photography industry with a background rich in innovation and success.

The stock photo library that Tony created, Tony Stone Images, was the first acquisition and the foundation of Getty Images (known as Getty Communications back then) when Jonathan Kline and Mark Getty first launched the company in 1995. At the time, Tony Stone Images was among the leading stock photo libraries in the world, generating $42 million in revenue from a portfolio of over 1 million photos. It was still 90% of the business when Getty floated in 1996. Later, as part of Getty, Tony Stone Images became the first library to offer stock photos for license via the web.

Tony remained on the Getty Images board until 1999 after which he did various consultation in the UK stock photography industry. In 2006 he married a French woman and now divides his time between London and Provence in Southern France.

In His Own Words

Tony answered a few questions about his appointment at Vivozoom and his thoughts on the microstock industry.

What’s your mission at Vivozoom?
To help evolve a microstock site which understands the needs and the frustrations of designers, which will solve the conundrum:   how do you provide a generous choice and at the same time a search facility so agile that exactly relevant images are found almost in no time at all.

What is it that attracted you to work with Vivozoom above other agencies?
I like their dynamism and willingness to think out of the box .   I share their pioneer spirit, shown for example in their determination to protect their clients through the Vivozoom image warranty

What aspect of Vivozoom’s strategy, in your view, will give it enough advantage to grow in this competitive market?
First, they really do care about the customer.   They focus not only on quality but on relevance too, critical in a market where customers can be overwhelmed by millions of images.

How do you expect your peers will react to you being involved in microstock?
They will be surprised that I still have the urge to excite innovation in the industry.   Perhaps they will think that a veteran of the early world of digital delivery can’t understand microstock’s new world “ but they would be wrong.   Microstock is only new in the way it sources its images and its mass-market prices.   But it still delivers images exactly as it did fifteen years ago.   This is where I hope to encourage the Vivozoom difference.

What business advice are you giving established professional stock photographers in the current climate?
Focus on quality, and before you fund a shoot examine hundreds of stock images in print and online, and then imagine real uses for your own images. Here’s your mantra: ‘Relevance, relevance, relevance.   This approach will focus your shooting, reduce your costs and boost your sales.

In your view, who are typical Vivozoom customers and how, if at all, do they differ from traditional stock photo buyers?
I’m still getting to understand them, but it’s not too soon to say that they are all dedicated to a professional approach, very price-conscious, yet still expecting a high quality and a relevance which is right for the job in hand;   and more and more they’re looking   for the peace of mind that comes with Vivozoom’s warranty.

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 14:49h, 14 April Reply

    Welcome back, Tony. If you share even a tiny bit of what you taught me in the three years I was president of Tony Stone/LA to your new partners, I have no doubt that they will enjoy tremendous success. XXOO Ellen

  • Tyler Olson
    Posted at 14:59h, 14 April Reply

    Nice post Lee and welcome to the microstock industry Tony 🙂

    My takeaway from this post
    “Focus on quality, and before you fund a shoot examine hundreds of stock images in print and online, and then imagine real uses for your own images. Here’s your mantra: “Relevance, relevance, relevance.” This approach will focus your shooting, reduce your costs and boost your sales.”

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 15:16h, 14 April Reply

    PS Tony…I’ve also learned a great deal from my colleagues in the microstock business that I’ve written about in my new book due in late August. Microstock Money Shots. You’ll see your name in it in a few places especially your lessons on shooting travel photography.

  • Sean Locke
    Posted at 15:29h, 14 April Reply

    The one thing Vivozoom had and couldn’t get to market fast enough – the image warranty – has already been picked up by the other micros. Unless TS is a search database programming expert a la google, I’m not sure how VZ is going to benefit. To be honest, I’m pretty happy with the IS best match search when relevancy is cranked up. http://seanlockedigitalimagery.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/best-match-20-awakens/

    Will be interesting to hear of concrete contributions.

  • sharply_done
    Posted at 15:44h, 14 April Reply


  • Giorgio Fochesato
    Posted at 17:55h, 14 April Reply

    Welcome in microstock… it will take some time to understand that the traditional stock is different… have fun.

  • Microstock Posts
    Posted at 05:33h, 15 April Reply

    Blimey, if this was released on April 1, no one would have believed it. “…I still have the urge to excite innovation in the industry.” is certainly a good answer though. Lee, I’m still not sure “joined” in what capacity, as a contributor, working for Vivozoom or both. Anyway, this will definitely put Vivozoom on the map and Tony if you want any advice, just drop me a line, haha just kidding!

  • Antonio D'Albore
    Posted at 17:08h, 17 April Reply

    Welcome in, Tony!
    Just curious to understand why a well established photographer like Stone bother to enter in the micro arena! RM crisis???

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 17:24h, 17 April Reply

    Antonio…I am going to post a bit about Tony’s history on my blog next week…its been many years since Tony made his money taking photos. Many believe he is the true founder of Getty Images.

  • Antonio D'Albore
    Posted at 17:49h, 17 April Reply

    Hi Ellen, looking forward to read your post next week!

  • Tony Craddock
    Posted at 10:32h, 19 April Reply

    I joined TS in 1970 when there were only two photographers at Tony Stone Studios and have been in stock ever since. There is little doubt this news the foretells the death of RM and any chance that photographers can make a living from shooting stock.

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 13:37h, 20 April Reply

    My post concerning Tony Stone is published at http://bit.ly/cWwdgn

  • Microstock News Roundup April 2010 | Microstock News
    Posted at 23:01h, 21 May Reply

    […] Vivozoom offered a second tier to their affiliate program allowing you to refer friends (i.e. someone who you know the email address of) via a discount coupon. your referrer gets a 20% discount on their purchase and you earn 15% commission. more info, microstockdiaries also reported that Tony Stone joined vivozoom […]

  • steve lynch
    Posted at 12:26h, 08 June Reply

    Hi again Tony: just a note to wish you success in your new venture. I’m not sure if you remember me, I’m a Mexico City photographer, and my wife Lourdes Carles, managed the TSI business in Mexico and Central America during the decade of the 1999s up until the time when you sold the business. She continued with Getty until they closed down the Mexican operation.

    We also want to take the opportunity to wish you health, wealth and happiness with your new wife.

    Steve Lynch

  • beyond fotomedia » Tony Stone is Back
    Posted at 03:41h, 06 January Reply

    […] Here is the link to the news: http://www.microstockdiaries.com/tony-stone-joins-vivozoom.html […]

  • Jon Gray
    Posted at 05:52h, 24 October Reply

    Hi Tony
    Great to see your still alive and kicking and back in the business!
    Would be great to hear from you! Hope all your family are well!
    I am still shooting stock but have given up on Getty!
    Living in Kent and teaching (part time)Fashion & Advertising at the American University in london and also The Brooks institute in L.A.
    Kind regards

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