Tag Archives: media

Styles in food photography: StockFood presents “Perfectly Imperfect”

StockFood is number one in the worldwide licensing market for professional food photography. For more than 30 years the Munich-based media service has offered an extensive portfolio of food images. Recognizing new trends in food photography is the heart of this highly specialized business. Now StockFood’s culinary trend scouts have once again identified a new style of food photography that will influence the market.  StockFood has named this new imagery, whose spontaneity describes the spirit of our times, “Perfectly Imperfect.” 

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“Perfectly Imperfect” characterizes food images that strike the viewer as spontaneous and unstaged. Instead of luxury kitchen accessories, the props arouse associations with student life and consist of everyday objects found in every kitchen. Sophisticated food is not presented on expensive china, but simply placed on parchment paper. Seemingly random half-eaten pieces of cake, used cutlery or an empty plate containing mere crumbs are captured in the image. Crumbs and food stains bridge the gap between creative culinary art and real life.

“Perfectly Imperfect” has its origins in the food blogger scene. Thousands of hobby cooks photograph their creative dishes hot off the stove and present them to fans on the web. The blogger scene focuses on the unbridled desire to experiment, taste, try and enjoy. Unlike the professional results produced by trained chefs, these images are spontaneous and reflect real life where accidents can happen. But they always demonstrate the pride and joy of cooking, baking and producing great food.

Authentic, natural and immediate – that’s the way the new style presents itself. Once the compulsion for perfection is overcome, what really counts comes into focus – the fun of experimentation, originality and pure passion. “Perfectly Imperfect” delivers the message: whatever I can do — you can too!

StockFood trend scouts identify and communicate new imagery styles long before they become main stream. In recent years StockFood has identified “Mystic Light” (2012) and “Passion Fruits” (2011) as new trends in food photography. But while they required elaborate food styling, “Perfectly Imperfect” radically departs from highly orchestrated images. It is uninhibited, playful and spontaneous. Professional food photographers have now discovered the possibilities of this new style, even though their casual-appearing images are very carefully planned.

StockFood president and CEO Pete A. Eising is a fan of “Perfectly Imperfect:” and states, “this new unconventional style is opposite of the high-gloss lifestyle that we know from advertising and the media. It is based on the element of surprise, which attracts the attention of oversaturated consumers.”

Experienced trend specialist Petra Thierry of StockFood‘s Photographers & Art Department is convinced “Perfectly Imperfect” will soon separate itself from the blogger scene. “Just think of all the new cook books and lifestyle media that use this kind of imagery to rouse the emotions of their readers. Perfectly styled food images will continue to dominate advertising, but in the editorial sector spontaneity and individuality are on the rise.”

StockFood presents its own new collection of “Perfectly Imperfect” images on its website

(http://usa.stockfood.com/perfectly-imperfect). In choosing these images, some of which stem from renowned food bloggers like Beatrice Peltre and Samantha Linsell, StockFood has applied its usual criterion, assuring that all images, regardless of the theme, meet the highest quality standards.

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Alamy now offering vector graphics as part of its complete image solution for picture professionals

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  • Affordable, high quality vectors with one price and a simple license
  • 500,000 vector graphics available at launch, with plans to double the collection in the first year

Stock photo agency Alamy has today announced its move to supply the image market with vector graphics as part of its strategy to provide a full service to image buyers. Alamy has 45 million images online, including creative, editorial, live news and video.

The company is launching with a collection of 500,000 vectors from leading suppliers including YAY media AS, Matthew Britton and Pavel Konovalov. They aim to expand their collection rapidly over the next 12 months adding new content from their existing contributors as well as recruiting more specialists.

Vectors are great for designers, because they are scalable and can easily be resized without altering the quality of the image. If you print a vector logo on a small sheet of paper, and then enlarge it to billboard size it will keep the same sharp quality.

Ned Selby, partner at New Future Graphic agency said: “Vector graphics are a cornerstone of many of our design processes and it’s great to know that Alamy now offer them as part of their vast image library. They’ve made licensing vectors straightforward, with a simple flexible package of rights at one price.”

Rachel Wakefield, Alamy head of sales said: “We’ve been building our portfolio for the creative market and, when we talked to our customers, vectors was an obvious next step. It’s an exciting time, our content is getting more diverse as we continue to add new products – in the last two years we’ve added Live News and Video.  And we’ve made it really easy to buy as well – one simple transaction whatever the media.”

DisabilityImages.com is highlighted by DT Network

Disability Today Network Features article about Disability Images

“The Disability Today (DT) Network, www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com, is an online village like no other, the disability community’s first social media network. It is an ‘exposition’ of independently-hosted media channels under 15 different areas of special interest to people with disabilities, their families and friends and healthcare professionals.  It was developed by Disability Today Publishing Group, Inc., a community pioneer and leader for over 20 years for people with disabilities.

DT Network has featured a wonderful article about www.disabilityimages.com. It can be read in full here. It highlights “people with real disabilities and their lifestyle, emphasizing positive, empowered, accessible and adaptive activities. The collection offers high-quality, royalty-free images for licensing and publication. No models. No posers.”

Mark and Pat Hunt, founders of DisabilityImages.com say: “We are happy to be working with the DT Network, to promote the efforts made on behalf of people with disabilities.” Jeff Tiessen, Executive Producer of Disability Today Network states: “For publishers and marketers within the disability community, it is very important that the people we represent in our media truly do represent the disability community accurately and honestly. It matters a lot. But frankly, sourcing “real” lifestyle images of people with disabilities has been the bane of our existence. There has been a dearth of this kind of quality photography throughout our industry. You need not look far to see how many companies and organizations are using the same “non-disabled” stock photography of people with disabilities. Photography from Disability Images is a real difference-maker, and a statement on the worth or value of meaningful, valid inclusion.”

DisabilityImages.com is differentiated in that it depicts the daily activities of a community that is typically under-represented, presenting clear and evocative images of subjects that are frequently sought after in the publishing industry. All images are available in multiple high-resolution formats; are free of logo and trademark issues; come with full model and property releases, and show real people with genuine disabilities.

Panoramic Images Copyright Claims Against Textbook Publishers Permitted To Proceed

By Nancy Wolff Esq., PACA Counsel

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Panoramic Images (Panoramic) successfully defeated two separate motions to dismiss copyright claims it brought against textbook publishers, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (McGraw-Hill) and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Wiley) for uses of photographs in excess of license agreements. Both cases were in the Federal District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, in front of two different judges and in each instance the court upheld Panoramic’s compilation registration of photographs and refused to follow the line of cases that restricted these registrations to the compilation and not the underlying photographs, granting deference to the Copyright Office.

170 photographs were at issue in the action against McGraw-Hill. All licenses contained restrictions with limitations based on the number of copies, territory, image size, language, duration, and nature of the media exceeded the permitted uses. According to the complaint Panoramic provided McGraw-Hill with a list of limited licenses that it believed had been exceeded. When McGraw-Hill failed to respond, Panoramic instituted an action for direct and contributory copyright infringement. McGraw-Hill did not dispute the claims against them with respect to 69 of the images, but asserted that Panoramic lacked valid copyright registrations for 101 of the 170 photographs at issue.

First, McGraw-Hill asserted that Panoramic should be barred from bringing an action on 52 photographs because they were registered as part of various compilations and collective works and that these registrations failed to list the title of each photograph with an individual author citing 17 U.S.C. §409(2)— that states an application must include the “author or authors” and “title of the work”. McGraw argued that the statute intends that each component of a collective work must individually be listed with an author and title and ignoring this requirement would render the law “meaningless,” allowing claimants to bring infringement suits on works that had not been individually registered, a mechanism that provides public notice of a work’s registration. McGraw-Hill relied on several recent cases to support this view, including Muench v. Houghton-Mifflin, Bean v. Houghton Mifflin, and Alaska Stock LLC v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publ’g. Co., in which the courts determined that the plain language of §409 required each component photograph in a collective work to be listed with copyright registration in order for the plaintiff to bring an infringement action. In response, Panoramic noted that the United States has filed amicus briefs in support Alaska Stock and Bean, arguing that the Copyright Office has permissibly interpreted §409 to not require a registration application to identify the author of all claimed component works and that the court should defer to that interpretation. Panoramic also relied on Metropolitan Regional Info. Sys. V. American Home Realty Network Inc. a recent Fourth Circuit decision, which stated that §409 should not be interpreted to require that the copyright registrant identify each individual author and title in a collective work. Metropolitan further stated that reading §409 to mean that registration of a collective work also protects each component work is “more consistent with the statutory and regulatory scheme” because individually listing huge numbers of photographs would add excessive impediments to the registration process.”

The court rejected McGraw-Hill’s arguments concerning publication notice, pointing out that this apparent lack of notice did not prevent McGraw-Hill from knowing that Panoramic claimed copyright in the images and entering into licensing agreements with Panoramic. The court acknowledges that this is a developing issue in various district and circuit level courts and chooses to permit the action to continue, rather than barring the infringement suit at the pleadings stage. The court further states because the Seventh Circuit had not yet ruled on this issue, it preferred to grant deference to the Copyright Office’s reasonable interpretation of the statute, which “has directed that registration of a collective work “may cover (a) the collective work authorship, (b) any contribution created by the employee or other party commissioned by the author of a work made for hire, and (c) any other contributions that the claimant of the collective work obtained by transfer.” The Copyright Office further provides that where, as in this case, “the work being registered was created by a large number of authors, the application will be considered acceptable if it names at least three of those authors, followed by a statement such as ‘and [number] others.”

McGraw-Hill challenged the registration on an additional 49 of the photographs based on pending copyright registrations, and asserted that the action should not be permitted to proceed without a registration certificate from the Copyright Office. The court observed that there is a circuit split on the question of whether a pending copyright application is a sufficient basis for filing a copyright infringement suit (the application approach) or whether a copyright registration must be completed first (the registration approach). Courts that follow the registration approach urge that it follows the plain meaning of § 411(a), which states “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.” Advocates of the application approach contend that statute is ambiguous and permitting a claimant to bring a copyright infringement action on a work that has a pending application would better carry out the purpose of the statute by providing broad copyright protection without undue delay. The court found the application approach to be the most logical one following the Seventh Circuit case of Chicago Bd. of Educ. v. Substance, Inc., which stated that “although a copyright no longer need be registered with the Copyright Office to be valid, an application for registration must be filed before the copyright can be sued upon.”

Panoramic Images action against the publisher Wiley similarly alleged direct and contributory copyright infringement and common law fraud for exceeding the scope of the licenses. In addition to disputing the registrations based on compilation registrations and pending applications, Wiley brought a partial motion for dismissal arguing that litigation was improper because the arbitration clause in some of the license agreements precluded court proceedings.
Twenty photographs were at issue in the Wiley matter and as in the McGraw-Hill matter, limited licenses were issued to Wiley for use in in educational publications over the course of a number of years. The licenses expressly limited the number of copies, distribution area, language, duration, and media and Panoramic alleged that Wiley continually exceeded the limited grant of rights without securing additional permission. Further, it alleged that Wiley reproduced and distributed the photographs to third parties in the United States for profit, who translated the publications into different languages or published them in local adaptations or reprints all without Panoramic’s permission.

Nine of the 20 photographs were licensed by Panoramic’s distributor Getty Images through a series of Master License agreements that contained arbitration clauses. The court noted that a motion to dismiss was not the appropriate vehicle under which to enforce an arbitration clause, and a party must seek a stay under §3 of the Federal Arbitration Act. The court reviewed the arbitration provision and noted that it provided a “carve-out” option to litigate in court and that Panoramic may exercise its right to litigate in court, as it was “standing in Getty’s shoes”. Further, because Wiley’s reply brief did not address the scope and effect of the arbitration carve-out, it forfeited its ability to compel arbitration arising from the Getty Images agreements.

Similarly to the McGraw-Hill case, the court reviewed the current circuit split on whether “preregistration or registration” is required for purposes of filing a copyright and ultimately favored the application approach. The court preferred this approach because it avoided unnecessary delay by keeping claimants in “legal limbo,” waiting for their applications to be approved prior to bringing a legal action.

With respect to certain photographs that were registered as part of compilations, rather than individually, the court again referred to a split among district courts, and just as the court in the McGraw case, it looked to the Fourth Circuit’s in Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, stating that “where, as here, the copyright holder of a registered compilation owns the components at issue in a copyright suit, the registration suffices to permit filing of a suit.” The court stated that because the case was only at the pleading stage, it would permit Panoramic to proceed with its claims, but specifically stated that Wiley should be permitted to renew this argument later, if another Appeals Court departs from the Fourth Circuit.

There is still no new news from the Ninth Circuit on the appeal in Alaska Stock and Bean which was argued more than 2 years ago. It is clear that subsequent courts are more comfortable in giving deference to interpretation of section 409 by the Copyright Office, upholding the form of copyright registrations recommended to the industry by the Copyright Office.

Other courts depart from the view of the Fourth Circuit.