Glasshouse Images

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New York-based Glasshouse (glasshouseimages.com) is the latest indie stock startup to hit the scene, and though those in glass houses shouldn't throw Tony Stones, Glasshouse is taking on the big boys. "We felt there was a definite void in the stock photography industry," explains managing director Robbi Siegel. "With much of the industry being consolidated under two big corporations and the ubiquitous presence of royalty-free agencies, we felt there was a strong need for a boutique agency that specialized in highly artistic rights-managed content. The goal is to create an agency that will provide a fair deal for both clients and contributing photographers."

Can another indie stock house really survive? "Yes, with the right business plan and management," insists Siegel. "We need to keep our overhead and costs at a reasonable level, and with a completely e-commerce business model we're able to that. I believe many have not survived because they've tried to keep up with Getty and Corbis, and that's really not a feasible goal. Our plan is to remain a boutique, grow at our own rate, yet still put forth efficient and targeted marketing efforts." Unlike the allegedly "confusing" price structures of the big players, Glasshouse is touting what's known as the One Price Deal, described as a "unique pricing model, because Glasshouse is licensing rights-managed imagery yet offering clients greater flexibility with how they can use the images," she says. "You work with one client, on one project, in one medium - such as magazine, web or TV commercial - and you pay one price, one time, for one year," adds Glasshouse's Mark Larson, a former art director at CBS Records who now also heads his own design firm. "It's simple and fair."

The other Glasshouse principals are commercial photographer Spencer Jones and Leo Chapman, a digital retoucher. "The Glasshouse style is focused on artful, inspired and inspiring images that have a clear commercial spark," says Jones. "We look for classic quality in combination with fresh vision, and every image receives our maximum attention." Glasshouse also has some ambitious plans on the drawing board, including a monthly "lifestyle" magazine designed to showcase select photographers; special events to bring photographers and creatives together; and permanent gallery space.

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