CAIA Image: Photographer Collective

Posted on 6/21/2016 by Chris Ryan | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Editor's Note: I recently asked Chris Ryan of CAIA Image to explain how their company came into existence as a stock photo production company, and how it operates. He sent me the following and said, "we are always looking for new contributing artists whose work we think is truly outstanding."

Caia Image was formed in 2012 by the same photographer and distribution team of guys that had founded and created the best selling OJO Images RF collection 4 years earlier. (They sold the OJO collection of Getty Images.) This team being 6 of the top selling Getty Images contributing photographers, Martin Barraud, Paul Bradbury, Rob Daly, Sam Edwards, Tom Merton, Chris Ryan and distribution director and managing partner Jonathan Gibson.

We obviously knew that our combined work had an incredible proven track record and truly encompassed all the high production values and the great creative edge needed to elevate the images above the mass and really sell well even in the crowded RF market place. So we wanted to form a collective together again and create the best RF collection that had ever been seen…. Mk 2.

Our Caia Image philosophy is very simple…we are about creating and representing only the very best RF images and clips…. and then getting the work placed into the very best market place positions and distributor shop windows for buyers to find and buy.

Caia has two equally important streams of new content, its own wholly owned productions and it’s contributor content.

The wholly owned content is in the main created by the 6 Caia director photographers. This is put into production after intensive creative research and visualising the genre and shoot type is brain stormed by the whole company.

The directors shoot one co-operative pool of wholly owned Caia content. This means that any number or combination of the 6 director photographers can be called upon to shoot together on a shoot as all the images and clips created are owned by our company, Caia Image and therefore the investment and returns are equally shared.  In most shoot cases there would be typically two still’s photographers with another perhaps as videographer. This cooperative company structure also gives Caia tremendous ability to closely guide and shape its own collection’s content balance and mix as well as keep a consistency high quality to every new shoot and release we make.

In general we do not hire photographers to shoot with us on our own shoots, we already have 6 of the best ones around as directors of Caia!. However, on occasion Caia will fund a production and give a day rate to outside photographers to create wholly owned content for us. For example, perhaps some-one in a distant specific location or someone who has access to content type we cannot create cost effectively ourselves. However, It will always be some-one whose own collection of work we have represented for a period of time before, therefore giving us an assurance that they can produce the quality of imagery we would require. These shoots would be on an agreed subject matter and produced with help from our creative team.

Importantly …we are always looking for new contributing artists whose work we think is truly outstanding and we think we can sell for them. We are not about numbers…..we cannot accept work that does not meet our high level of quality and creativity….. we are about only representing the best of the best RF imagery.

We already have a growing select group of contributing artists we represent and distribute their work offering a generous photographer friendly royalty rate. We help and guide these artists stock shoots when creating for us….we are very hands on... and provide help in every step of their own shoots. It makes us very proud that we have achieved some outstanding sales stats, with several photographers earning an average of over £100 ($150) per image, per year from their collection with us. This has been so successful that this year will see us looking to expand our contributor artists roster and provide even more help to those we choose to represent and if requested, even by sending our own director photographers out onto some of our contributors own shoots to mix in with help, advice and tips!

I’d say about 60% of our image content and about 80% of our film content is created as wholly owned by the original 6 director photographers.

CAIA Image is one of the best selling RF collections out there…we think we’ve got our content and market place exactly right…. and so far this year we have seen almost a doubling of revenue growth from our RF image and RF clips business and our RPI's in general are enjoying double digit growth. We feel it’s a really, really good photographer friendly place to invest imagery into right now. It’s a great time to start for new contributors too, those whose work is exceptional and who want to work closely with our teams and get help producing better selling content….then let us take it to our markets and turn it into a good income return.

Copyright © 2016 Chris Ryan. 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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