Tony Stone Images Responds

Posted on 9/17/1997 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



September 17, 1997

In the last issue of TAKING STOCK I wrote an article entitled "Unhappy U.S. Photogs At TSI." Stephen Mayes, Group Creative Director of Tony Stone Images, took issue with many of the things I had to say and wrote the following.

Tony Stone Images prides itself on the partnership offered to photographers, and dozens of Creative staff around the world work closely with contributors to deliver the very best stock imagery to our clients. The successful launch of the new Interpretations catalogue demonstrates that commerce and creativity go hand in hand for the benefit of clients and photographers alike.

Many readers were therefore surprised by the article Unhappy U.S. Photogs at TSI (Taking Stock, July 1997) and some corrections are necessary to restore balance to the report. Many photographers are extremely happy with the launch of Interpretations which has been produced with our usual creative energy and commercial rigor. The content categories were advertised to all contributors a year before the submission deadline, and they were fulfilled brilliantly by a broad constituency of photographers.

As always, the only criteria for inclusion of work in a Tony Stone Images catalogue is quality and market relevance, and the catalogue selection team worked impartially to address the needs of our increasingly sophisticated market. All Tony Stone Images photographers can be confident that our light boxes are truly democratic and the imagery is selected by quality and not by privilege. For the record it should be noted that well over 50% of the selected images are by North American photographers signed to our Los Angeles and Seattle offices.

The article in July's "Taking Stock" is absolutely wrong in its assertion that no Los Angeles representative was invited to catalogue selection, and one of our most experienced Art Directors, Alex Bortkiewicz was present throughout. The selection team also included a permanent representative from the Seattle Creative team as well as the London, Paris and Munich Creative centers. We went a step further by circulating the page layouts to North American Sales and Creative departments for approval before going to print: no images were accepted that were felt to be "not quite up to par."

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and our North American clients have already demonstrated a strong appetite for the new catalogue. The overall style of the images in Interpretations is very much in sync with the mainstream North American markets, and our contributors will enjoy the benefits of this and many more Tony Stone Images catalogues over the coming months.

Meanwhile the communication channels are open straight to the Getty management and my colleagues and I regularly exchange views and information with contributors around the world. The opinions expressed in July's "Taking Stock" are not typical of the wider photographic constituency that we represent.

Yours in the spirit of encouraging communication among photographers.

Copyright © 1997 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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