16 Oct 2010 STOCKinRUSSIA
Earlier this week I had the honor to attend and speak at the second annual STOCKinRUSSIA conference in Moscow. I had a fantastic time, learned a great deal, and made a lot of new friends. Here’s a quick recap of the conference.
About the Conference
250 people attended the two-day event. People traveled from all over Russia and many Russian ex-pats from other countries. Jonathan Ross and his producer, Laura Marchbanks, traveled from the US to present. Translators were provided to ensure those of us who didn’t speak Russian didn’t miss anything, and our English was also translated back to Russian.
The event was organized by Pressfoto, a significant organization in the microstock business which I’ll be writing more about shortly.
The event was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people as well as spend more time with people I’d already met.
I met the rest of the Pressfoto team, including founders Dmitry Shironosov & Anastasiya Pelikh, and Andrei Peganov who did much of the conference organization. Also there from the Pressfoto team was Pavel Orekhov who I’d met at UGCX and Kate Kholyavskaya, the studio manager who I’d met at CEPIC Dublin.
Also speaking was Elnur Amikishiyev who has a very interesting microstock story. I’ll be writing more about him shortly. Mikhail Lavrenov (better known in microstock as Miklav) was there from Belgium, participating and providing some coverage and conducting some interviews (see below). I also reconnected with Pavel Losevsky, who spoke about microstock video at CEPIC Dublin.
The event was well documented on Twitter and YouTube as well as extensively discussed on Russian microstock forums. Check out Miklav’s YouTube interviews with Jonathan and myself, plus some snippets here and here from Pavel Losevsky. Laura has a quick blog post about the event with some great photos of Moscow.
Everyone I spoke to got a lot of value out of the conference and wished there was more such real-world activities in Russia. The value comes in many forms, including meeting people, hearing about what others are doing in the marketplace, and of course the content from the presentations.
There were two shooting demonstrations. The first was from Jonathan Ross and Laura who shot a model on a business set. Both Jonathan and Laura kept the tips and advice firing for almost three hours. It was an impressive display of teamwork with Jonathan talking about the photography and how he related to models for maximum effect. Laura performed multiple roles of producer, assistant, stylist, hair & makeup and wardrobe, all the time providing advice and explaining why she was doing the things she did. Elnur provided translation with some humorous comparisons to his own style of shooting.
Following that was a demonstration shoot from the Pressmaster team, lead by art director Alexey Sizov. With a seamless background, one model, a large collection of props and generous wardrobe they created an impressive variety of stock themes within a small space and in just three hours. Shooting tethered allowed them to display each shot on the overhead projector, which was switched between the shooting and the post-processing that was also happening live. Overall it was an impressive display of teamwork and an insight into how Pressmaster produces high quality microstock in record time.
I would like to thank the entire Pressfoto team for the invitation to participate in the conference and for making me feel so welcome and appreciated. I enjoyed the entire event and learned a great deal. I also got to see some of central Moscow with Dmitri and Anastaysia, complete with a tour from Pavel Losevsky, who’s a local and drives accordingly. Thanks also to everyone I met for making the effort to speak to me in English and welcoming me to your country. Microstock is big in Russia and I’m looking forward to returning next year.