“Leadership is sustained by innovation.” -PantherMedia for IMAGO Creative.

“Leadership is sustained by innovation.” -PantherMedia for IMAGO Creative.

IMAGO Creative. Ever evolving their creative prowess and innovation, PantherMedia are leading the way in the emerging dichotomy between technology and creativity.

Bringing a European flare to creative photography, PantherMedia pride themselves on their ability to evolve with the industry and stay on the cutting edge of the latest innovations. Sourcing creative imagery from all corners of the world, their photographers capture moments, places and landscapes that we envy with precision and artistic ability.

Read the full interview with PantherMedia to find out more about how they are developing new solutions.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
Who are PantherMedia summarized in three central points? For those who may not have heard of you or seen your work.

PantherMedia is Germany’s first stock photography agency with a community of more than 50.000 photographers and partners of its own, offering over 200 million images & vectors, 8+ million videos and hundreds of thousands of 360° images. PantherMedia’s REST API technology offers clients extensive website and shop integration options. 

 

What is PantherMedia bringing to the creative stock market that others aren’t?

PantherMedia brings a European perspective to the selection and curation of creative stock photography paired with advanced technology options. Images are sourced from professional photographers as well as semi-professional private photographers all over the world, creating an outstanding and very broad mix of imagery.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
How have you evolved over the years?

PantherMedia was founded in Munich in 2004. Since then, it has continually evolved the scope of its content and technology prowess. Subsidiaries of PantherMedia include a company focusing in visual recognition, search and advertising technology and a company exploiting its technology in the food segment with a recipe database and technology of its own. Together, it provides a powerful mix of content and technology for corporations. 

 

In your own words, what does photography mean to you? What role do you feel it plays in society?

Photography is a language of its own that can be understood anywhere by anyone without the need for words. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then maybe the photograph is mightier than the pen. And both of them together are potentially mightier than anything. Which brings great responsibility, because never before has fake information and fake balance had greater reach.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
What is the one thing you have learnt that changed things for you? Did anything catch you by surprise that changed your mind?

I began in this industry in 1995 at the end of the catalogue and slide age. The transition of distribution to digital via website provided an extension of reach, but the game changer was the advent of the reasonable high pixel digital camera. This expanded the volume and speed of the creation of stock photographs exponentially very rapidly. The rise from 2 million images to approaching 1 billion images on one website triggered the most fundamental change to the perceived value of an individual commercial stock image from the perspective of buyers. The average price per image dropped from thousands to hundreds and then to cents in a period of 20 years. While this could all be anticipated it is the use of free unvetted images by professional creatives that was least expected for me. And the rising unwillingness to reward even genuine stand out images with reasonable prices. 

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
Can you tell us a little bit about how PantherMedia “develop new innovative solutions for the stock image market”?

We continually strive to connect clients’ evolving requirements with new processes that make their work faster, easier, more fruitful, and more seamless. Our goal is that every project our clients undertake is a success for them.

What does striving to do things more initiatively or differently mean and why is it important to you?

Leadership is sustained by innovation. This applies to the grand scheme as much as it applies at the smallest level. And so, for me, it is the driving force of moving forwards.

What are the key rules or mottos you abide by when working with photographers and buyers?

Respect, Fairness & and a solution can always be found.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in the stock photography industry today?

The biggest challenge is to continue to monetize commercial stock photographs through licenses in the face of the rise of the quality and availability of free content.

What makes a good photograph at PantherMedia?

From the perspective of stock photography as commercial art form a good photograph follows the age old adage of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If a client selects an image, it is a good image. That aside and avoiding the use of cliché phrases that have followed me from day one, 25 years ago, in the photo business like authentic, cutting edge, edgy, stylish, fashionable or words to that effect, what I look for in a stock photograph is its ability to tell a complete story. The ability of a photographer to capture a model in such a way that it either engages with the viewer directly or a task depicted in the image. There are maybe ten primary stories that need reinventing visually every five minutes. An eye opener in that context was viewing the images in one of the first ever stock photography catalogues shown to me by Bob Armstrong, whose grandfather is said to have founded one of the first stock photography agencies in Philadelphia in 1920. Practically everything we do today was already there, it just looked different.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia
What do you think the next 12 months will look like for you?

Battling on two fronts. One to maintain the value proposition of commercial stock photography from the perspective of paying clients and two to enter the free stock photography market to generate royalties for artists by other means of monetization.

IMAGO / Panthermedia
Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Based in Munich, PantherMedia are a German creative agency with an international network of photographers and creatives. See more from their creative portfolio with us via the link here.

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