Anchorage-based photographer owned agency Alaska Stock is celebrating 20 years and shared this story
In an era of declining budgets, and at a time when the stock photo industry is experiencing instability due to diminishing photographic value and integrity through the development of dollar microstock sites, automated digital subscription services, and the increased accessibility of advanced digital technology, Alaska’s premier photo collection, Alaska Stock Images, celebrates 20 years as Alaska’s largest agency providing unique professional quality Alaskan Rights-managed and Royalty-Free stock photos.
Alaska Stock started modestly, like most businesses with limited resources, but a great idea. The brainchild of professional photographer and entrepreneur, Jeff Schultz, and two of Alaska’s finest shooters (Chris Arend and Johnny Johnson), Alaska Stock grew from an idea among friends over lunch at then Elmer’s restaurant in Anchorage to a working office in the basement of Jeff’s house, 16 contributing photogs and one part-time employee in 1991. Today there are eight full time employees processing and selling more than 500,000 images created by over 200 talented contributors.
Twenty years is a remarkable achievement for any business these days, and even more rare considering Alaska Stock is an independent, photographer owned agency which has flourished despite the trend of disappearing boutique stock photo collections pushed out of the market due to recessions, acquisitions by the industry’s stock photo giants, and the logistical challenge of transitioning from the old technology of film to embracing the digital revolution and the world wide web.
Making it Out of the Basement and the Secret to Twenty Successful Years:
So how did they do it? How has Alaska Stock Images not only merely survived where others have not, but grown to a world class niche photo agency showcasing the work of over 200 photographers with a collection represented worldwide by over 39 agency partners? Director of Sales & Marketing, Laurie McCampbell, remarked, “The concepts are simple: Innovation, agility, integrity, dependability and vision. Combine those ideas with distinctive professional quality images and superb service and you’ve got the formula for a successful stock agency. The real genius is in the commitment and execution of those root concepts.” While Alaska Stock has morphed over the years by adapting to changing times, actively recruiting talented shooters, constantly improving internal processes and market presence, the vision has remained the same:
“Alaska Stock will be the premier source for the best, most unique, and largest selection of Alaskan-theme images. We will maintain an easily accessible and efficient library of high quality images, and we will promote these images to the worldwide market of commercial photo buyers. We will continue to modify our product & services to meet or exceed our clients’ expectations as our clients’ needs change.”
To see the Top 20 Selling Images over the last 20 years go to: http://www.alaskastock.com/lbmail.asp?pb=20_Year_Options&co=10051401
To read Jeff’s account of our 20 Years and some of the old office and staff photos go to: http://www.alaskastock.com/Alaska-Stock-celebrates-20-years.asp
What Does the Future Hold for Alaska Stock?
One thing most Alaskans have in common with success is that they never sit back and wait for things to happen. It is this same adventurous spirit that keeps Jeff Schultz and the company moving forward. He remarked, “Plans for the future include increasing both the Royalty-Free and Rights-Managed image collection, exploring adding video clips to the collection, fresh pricing models, recruiting new photographers, expanding the sales team, and developing www.AlaskaStock.com to make it faster and even more user friendly. And of course, all the while, providing unsurpassed customer service. THANK YOU to our contributing photographers, our clients and our staff for making Alaska Stock Images such a success.”
About Alaska Stock:
Alaska Stock Images, founded in 1990 by Jeff Schultz, is a specialty photo agency with an offering of over 400,000 Rights-Managed and Royalty-Free images of Alaska tourism, summer and winter lifestyles, outdoor recreation, adventure, historic, wildlife, global warming and climate change, majestic landscapes, and photos from Antarctica and Canada. This collection continues to grow on a regular basis with over 50,000 images available online at www.alaskastock.com with in excess of 200 contributing photographers of the highest caliber. The full collection is available for sale directly from Alaska Stocks sales team and around 15,000 Rights Managed images have been especially selected for their Alaskan specialty and international relevance and are sold worldwide via its international distribution network.