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.

Meeting People

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.

Coverage

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.

You can download Jonathan’s presentation here (Zipped PPT 1.2MB) and mine is online at SlideShare (in both Russian and English).

The Value

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.

Jonathan Ross stock shoot demonstration (Konstantin Sutyagin)

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.

Thankyou

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.

10 Comments
  • Hasloo
    Posted at 16:16h, 16 October Reply

    Very nice article! Thank you for links))

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 22:46h, 21 October Reply

      It was nice to meet you too Kirill. Looking forward to working together.

      -Lee

  • Holgs
    Posted at 06:31h, 17 October Reply

    Sounds like a great event – Moscow is such a fantastic city too – hope you guys got to have a bit of a look around!

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 21:15h, 21 October Reply

      I organized a full day after the conference to look around. I’m not going that far to such a significant city without spending at least some time to check it out. It was a lot of fun and I had some great hosts to show me around. I hope they weren’t too offended that I fell asleep in the car at the end of the day, but there’s only so much jet-lag a man can take! No stock shots of Moscow though, this time. 😉

  • Tyler Olson - MicrostockGroup
    Posted at 07:40h, 17 October Reply

    Sounds like a very well organized event with some great info for microstock photographers. Thanks for the write-up

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 21:18h, 21 October Reply

      It was indeed well organized, and I got a lot of great info out of it for myself. It was very generous of the Pressfoto guys to put it together as I know it was a massive job for them and I know that events aren’t exactly a money-spinner. They’re keen to develop the market in Russia, which sounds crazy, but it’s true. Hats off to them.

  • Elnur
    Posted at 03:10h, 18 October Reply

    Lee, it was nice to meet you. I really enjoyed the event, and your and Jonathan’s presense added that international touch to the conference. See you next year in Moscow, or hopefully earlier at different venue.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 21:20h, 21 October Reply

      Hi Elnur, it was a pleasure to meet you too after having talked online. Your translation services were well appreciated, and I loved those late-night debates on the industry. It’s great to nut it out with someone so well informed. I’m looking forward to the next time too, and finding new ways to bring more value. And yes, hopefully we’ll see each other before then somewhere else.

  • Kate Kholyavskaya
    Posted at 04:23h, 19 October Reply

    Lee, thank you for this article and thank you very much for your participation in STOCKinRUSSIA’10! It was very pleased to meet you again!

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 21:23h, 21 October Reply

      Likewise Kate, thanks for your part in making the event possible. It was nice to see you again and I’m looking forward to the next time. It seems you also made a friend-for-life in Laura! 🙂

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