Grill Launches Stock Production Company

Posted on 9/25/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



September 25, 2001

Photographer Tom Grill has left Comstock and created a new production company under the name

Grill, who works from his base of operations in the New York City area, was a successful
commercial photographer shooting airline, lifestyle and cosmetic accounts when he co-founded
the Comstock stock photo agency in 1976. He was Comstock's chief photographer and creative
director for over two decades, and during this period was enormously influential in changing
the "look" of stock photography.

Grill innovated by creating images that were specifically produced with stock sales in
mind--a revolutionary idea at the time. Perhaps even more importantly, however, Grill also
pioneered the idea of producing "concept-based" stock photography: that is, focusing on the
concepts that a stock photo conveyed (such as 'Love' or 'Patriotism' or 'Joy') rather than
the literal subject matter of the image.

Grill's ideas transformed stock photography. Through his speeches in the 80's at PhotoPlus
and other venues he was instrumental in leading many photographers to careers in stock
photography. Comstock subsequently became a recognized world leader in the stock picture

Grill's new business is not a stock agency. "Think of us as a wholesale supplier to the
stock photo industry," he says.

"We're an extremely mobile task force that's able to adapt to the vast and varied needs of
picture buyers in the Internet age. Our goal is to establish relationships with the world's
finest image sellers, whether they're traditional agencies, royalty free producers or
on-line portals, and consistently supply them with highly marketable material," he

In addition to Grill two other long-time veterans of the stock industry support the
company's efforts. Acting as Grill's Production Manager is Valerie King, who previously
spent three years as Photo Editor at Fitness magazine and 6 years as Director of Photography
at Comstock. King is a key member of the team, managing all aspects of stock
image production, including model casting, styling and location coordination. Another
Comstock alumnus, Paul H. Henning, has also joined Grill and is charged with business
development. In addition to spending a year and a half as Comstock's Manager of European
Operations, Henning owned his own stock agency for 12 years and has served as a consultant
to the stock picture industry both here and abroad since Feb. of 1999.

So What's Happening At Comstock?

Henry Scanlon, CEO of Comstock says, "We at Comstock felt adamantly that we needed to open
our doors wide to fresh and contemporary approaches from a variety of photographers with new
perspectives. Regrettably, that resulted in the ending of a long term relationship. We wish
Tom well in every respect, and know he will do fine."

"As for Comstock, we have never been healthier, nor have we ever been having more fun. Our
website experiences tens of millions of hits per month; hundreds of thousands of page views
and tens of thousands of repeat visitors. We have more customers than we have ever had, and
are growing daily. Photographers who are interested in knowing more about our current policy
towards photographers' representation can click the "careers" link from our homepage at"

Parties interested in representing Tom Grill's production may contact Tom via
phone (201.876.0355) or e-mail ( A taste of the company's stock
image production capabilities can be seen by visiting

Copyright © 2001 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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