IMAGO / Addictive Stock

Addictive Stock Agency: Witnessing Spectacular Evolution in Creative Agency

Bringing a breath of fresh air to the creative stock industry, Madrid based Addictive Stock showcase their artistic photography collection and tell us a little about how they came to be a collective of around 600 photographers and videographers working across Spain and Latin America in such a short space of time.

Creating premium collections that are as diverse and as creative as possible stands at the forefront of this exciting young agency. Taking pride in their ability to guide their photographers and work on a personable level with them has allowed Addictive Stock Agency to differentiate both their artists’ experiences and the work they create. Changing the way their industry values relationships and a dedication to the investment of time in people, they chat with us about their evolution, values and curated artistic photography production.  Read the full interview with the exciting creative company below.

“The evolution has been spectacular.” – Addictive Stock

Who are Addictive Stock summarized in three central points? For those who may not have heard of you or seen your work.

Addictive is a very young stock photo and video distributor based in Spain. We started working only with Spanish and Latin American photographers but the success of the brand has made us expand internationally and we already have numerous artists from various parts of the world. We currently have around 600 photographers/ videographers working with us. Internally, is formed by several top active stock photographers and other people with a lot of experience in keywording and distribution.

IMAGO /Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock

What services do you provide photographers and how do you support them in their craft?

Photographers decide to work with Addictive for several reasons. On the one hand, the closeness we have with them and also being able to do it in Spanish is something they value a lot. In addition to this, we offer prior artistic direction if the photographer requires it and also once the work has been completed. Whether Addictive accepts or rejects a session, our editors take care to give the necessary critical feedback so that the creative applicant can improve and learn for the future.

The fundamental part is that Addictive performs the keywording and distribution tasks (sometimes even retouching), so the photographer only has to focus his efforts on producing and stylizing their images and/or videos.

If this were not enough, Addictive works mainly through macro-stock agencies, where it is very difficult for individual authors to be accepted. This means that photographers are able to gain opportunities and enter markets publishing their content through worldwide agencies through us, spaces they might not have been able to access otherwise.

In addition, we offer photographers a system of pre-selection prior to the post-production phase. By curating the content at this stage, we indicate images/ videos that we believe have the most potential so that the artist can invest the minimum amount of time retouching and maximum time creating.

imago images/Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock

Addictive Stock is a relatively young company, but how have you evolved since starting out?

Yes, our activity started in January 2016, so this year is our sixth year in the creative stock world. The evolution has been spectacular. Our intention in the beginning was to work with very few photographers and to set up a small agency, but the success of our system was almost immediate and the growth since then has been exponential. We receive hundreds of applications per month and sadly, we have no choice but to reject most of them because we do not have the infrastructure to service so many photographers. We only accept those who are of above average quality or who produce interesting content that is missing from the collections.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, our growth has been even greater, as photographers from all over the world have been affected by the lack of work and have looked to stock agencies as outlets to continue generating income.

You previously have stated that you aim to be “a breath of fresh air in the sector”. Can you tell us more about why this differentiation is important to you and how you are providing this change in stock photography?

Thanks to this growth that I mentioned earlier and due to the high quality standards that we currently demand to enter Addictive, our collection is of a premium level. Together with this, being a great team of photographers, mainly from Spain, means that the collection has a Mediterranean feel to it that was previously lacking in the sector. Fortunately Spain is a perfect country to produce stock. We have beaches, mountains, business areas, lots of sun, snow, diversity of models… and above all a creativity and talent that if we combine them all we get a very fresh and high quality product.

IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock

Addictive stock provides authentic and honest work. What, to you, does aspiring to do things honestly mean and why it is significant?

As I mentioned before, Addictive is made up of several stock photographers and intrinsically we know what a photographer needs and how to manage their concerns and emotions in different situations as we have lived it first hand. We try to treat our artists as we would like to be treated ourselves and that’s why we invest a lot of time in giving them feedback and trying to instruct them so that they can improve their productions day by day, whatever their style. We try to be very close, in fact all the Addictive photographers have my personal phone number and they ask me a lot of questions directly and I think that’s something they especially value. Like any small and growing company we have our mistakes, but we don’t try to hide them. We are always honest and transparent at all times with the things that are happening and with the changes we are adopting.

I am also fortunate to have a team of which I am very proud. The effort and the enthusiasm they put into their work every day makes this project possible. With a very small team, I think we are managing to overcome some incredible challenges.

What are the key rules or mottos you abide by when working with photographers and producing collections?

What we really try to achieve every day is to offer agencies content that is as diverse and creative as possible, but with quality standards that are appropriate for premium collections. We mainly focus on lifestyle photography and in this sense we try to make our photographers see what the keys are for each production to be a sales success: the importance of a good casting of models and the choice of both an attractive location and quality styling in line with the idea that is being developed in the session. The only rule we set for photographers is that the content they send us is exclusive, content that we then distribute to around 20 portfolios in different agencies.

IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock
IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock Agency

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in the stock photography industry?

I think the biggest challenge is to fight against the massification of stock photographers that is already in the industry. Nowadays if you want to make a living from this you have to produce really good content, you have to invest, take risks… and of course, be very good at what you do. I’ve been in the stock industry since 2006 which is 15 years in this sector. I have personally seen and experienced many changes and have been a first hand spectator of how this market has grown. I remember that 7-8 years ago I was almost the only photographer producing professional stock in a city as big as Madrid. Today the number of photographers is huge and the competition is getting tougher and tougher. This sector is very attractive, but very tough at the same time. I have been teaching stock photography for more than 10 years in photography schools, one-to-ones, webinars… and not many people have managed to make stock photography their livelihood or, at least, an important extra income.

What are the elements of Addictive Stock that set you apart from the competition?

Well, there are other distributors in the market but I think that in our case, that closeness and enthusiasm for what we do are the fundamental values that we want to exploit. We are Spanish and we believe that because of our open nature we understand the needs of artists in this country and in Latin America much better than other companies.

IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock

What makes a good photograph at Addictive Stock?

The one that when you see it you say, WOW, this is going to work. As I said before, the main thing is that all the elements of the photo, from the concept to the post-production have to be taken care of in detail and that’s what we try to achieve with every shoot. Obviously I would be cheating if I said that every image we have for sale at Addictive is a unique jewel… remember that we are honest and transparent.

What is the most important lesson you have learned to date?

To listen. I think the part that many companies need to improve is precisely that, to listen not only to your clients, but also to your suppliers. Within the logical budgetary limitations that a company like Addictive can have, we strive to ensure that every day our service is in line with what artists and agencies expect from us.

IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock Agency
IMAGO / Addictive Stock
Photo: IMAGO / Addictive Stock Agency

Get to know Addictive Stock Agency with us at IMAGO. #aCREATIVEalternative

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