CandyBox Images, based in the Czech Republic, has recently emerged as a major player in royalty-free image production.
This team of 15 has been a Shutterstock contributor since 2008 and now has over 13,000 images in their collection. Specializing in images for creative professionals, the Candybox portfolio covers in-demand subjects such as business, health and families.
We asked founder Jean-Marie Guyon (pictured) some questions about Candybox Images’s success. Below are his answers, along with a selection of his favorite images from Candybox.
Q: How did you get started in stock photography?
Three and a half years ago, together with my partners, we decided to start a new venture in the business of stock photography. My background is in advertising and marketing, and in my early days I shot commissioned photography and reportage for magazines and advertising companies. After the participation in two main events for the stock photo industry — PACA in New York and Microstock Expo in Berlin, where both organizations invited me as a speaker — we are really ready to expand and scale up our operations. We have a long way in front of us and just entered the market of Microstock photography.
Q: How do you decide which images to create and submit to Shutterstock?
A: I don’t take this decision alone. We have a team, which researches the market’s demand of images or themes. Based on this information and the possibilities we have to produce the shoot—models, locations—we choose themes to shoot. We submit our entire collection to Shutterstock.
Q: What kind of camera do you use, and is there any other special equipment or software you use?
A: I am a Nikon shooter. We are shooting now with the Nikon D3X, because it’s giving the maximum quality resolution in a very portable package without having to use medium format. We use no specific equipment or software beside the traditional workflow stuff with RAW processing of Images, Adobe software etc. We don’t do special tricks because we believe that the quality of photo is established during the shoot. Getting it right in front of the lens saves lots of effort in post-production.
Q: Do you ever see your images show up in finished products, like ads or websites?
A: We see them regularly mainly in Czech Republic but also when I am travelling through Europe. I was in the Netherlands a few months ago for business. We saw one of our images being used throughout the country for a national campaign promoting luxury bedroom furniture. Also in France, where I have my family, I saw regularly our images being used in several advertisements and magazines. Although we have now more then 13,000 images in our portfolio, I think I could recognize all of our images.
Q: Any plans for the future? Different subjects, or working with other new formats such as footage?
A: Yes, we have big plans and are committed to the production of high quality RF stock images. We are regularly expanding our team in order to cope with the development of our portfolio. We keep improving our quality and enlarging our collection with diversity of themes, adding more ethnic groups for example. We do not make compromises on quality. Footage is something we are seriously thinking of and will be probably one of the things that we will add to our services.