Photographic market trends , opportunities and business models: we talk about it with Rossella Barresi of Realy Easy Star.

To investigate on such a hot issue, we interviewed Rossella Barresi, administrator of the photo agency Realy Easy Star.

Who is Realy Easy Star
Born in 1992 from the union of different creatives, at the beginning has focused almost exclusively on photographs about Italy in tourism, artistic, architectural and journalistic field. Today the agency has expanded with photographic material at international level. Since 2009 Realy Easy Star is also a publisher and follows directly photographic editions both print and digital .
The particular features of Realy Easy Star are a dynamic relationship with photographers and accuracy in their selection.

Rossella, can you tell us what are, in your opinion, photographic market trends in the next future?

I tell you first what would be my wish: I would like magazines and books play an important role, since I am a great lover of the physical object itself.

Regardless of my own will or that of the operators in the photo industry, looking over the long term, there is no doubt that the majority of new editorial products will be made in digital, e-book or digital magazine.
Someone says this process has already started, for sure in this moment we are experiencing a sort of stand-by.
The publishers are struggling to enter into real digital publishing productions, due to low advertising acquisition that would give the right push to the market.
On the other hand, many publishers complain of poor readers, so they lower the paper runs; consequently also on paper advertising is very often not sufficient and many newsrooms have closed – or they will close-, even historical journals.

Therefore, as I said before, this is a waiting period, where you can survive if you have special characteristics only …and we think we have them. In particular, we always renovate our clients management and we offer them a continuos problem solving. And the, we have 25 years of experience in this field.

Of course, experience can really make the difference in reading and handling even the most critical situations. What opportunities do you see for this business and which model do you try to follow?

Talking about business, the work of information professionals and copyright rental is definitely among the best, since there is no sale but one-time concession of use for a service or a specific photograph to illustrate an article.
This means that a picture can have an unlimited value over time, even if taken several years ago.
I have some photos of Toni Spagone in our archive taken even 20 years ago, which are still used because they are beautiful and timeless so they are still impressive.

From this, the important thing is the right choice of photographs and collaborators, they must understand that this work is not like a salaried job, but it’s a job to investors where money are your photographs and these, if valid, will bear fruit over time . And surely, they will be far higher than the mere total transfer of rights.

This implies two important phases.
The first one is for sure the choice oh photographers, who must provide high level content. Today publishers are overwhelmed by the offer of images, even at bargain prices .
In order to stand out you have to focus on quality, on a proposal of images that come out out of the massification that has arisen in recent years. In my opinion a lot of photos, even A mio avviso molte foto, seppur chromatically beautiful, don’t give emotion and they appear as a banal picture postcard. Publishers can find this kind of photos everywhere, at a very low price, but they will always be the usual photos.
The second one is definitely to able to find a collaboration between several Italian operators, each with their own characteristics, so that we can give publishers a very large selection and to really be able to compete on equal terms with large foreign agencies .
This is more the direction that we follow and we will go, without following a precise model, because I believe that following the others’ models is not innovative and < strong> in order to have good results today we must offer the customer new things, or at least different ones.

What does it take to help you in this development? What are the skills, the tools and the changes needed?

The first thing is to find a synergy with other professionals who have a so open vision that they don’t only look at their own backyard, but that they also have bigger aspirations both professional and economic and, above all, they want to go back on the play.

Once this has been found, the IT support that could embrace and manage valid operators who want to help create a large agency, is definitely an important thing.

In eventually making a success of this road, moreover, there is the need of one or more photographers with a capital F that can evaluate new talents, who are able to recognize beyond aesthetics the real content of the photos and who have gained the necessary experience in the publishing and visual field; we already have one of them and he is my partner.

Another very importante thing is promotion. A marketing that support international and Italian development of the new proposal.
This would be a big help because with a company that would deal with this we could spend our time exclusively to the search for new talent in photography and good customer management.

In principle, I believe that these are the primary things to be able to follow a road which states the Italian photography to a higher step and which plays its part internationally. We might as well have a different visual impact from the usual stereotypical images that do not leave traces of their presence, but are lost in the flood of visual bombardment to which all of us have to comply with, insiders or not.