Picture Archive Councel of America
Event Calendar
PACA's 16th International Conference (Recap)
The Bigger Picture: New Ideas From The Innovators
New York, October 15-17, 2011

The PACA International Conference was held in New York again this year in October and had its most brilliant educational program yet. The two days were packed with interesting seminars, all under the heading “The Bigger Picture: New Ideas From The Innovators"

by Ute Krebs, AKG Images

The first keynote speaker was the Director of Photography at the New York Times Magazine, Kathy Ryan, a very inspirational speaker who gave an overview of the type of photography used in the magazine. They use all types of work, sometimes on assignment, sometimes an organised photo shoot or agency material. It was very heartening to hear her enthusiasm for good photography and willingness to give unusual ideas a try. Her main emphasis when choosing an image or a whole concept was story-telling and it certainly showed in the examples she showed. The website of the magazine provides additional material, both moving and still photography.

A good start and the next speaker, Tom Kennedy took us through a whirlwind tour of the changing media landscape which he is himself very familiar with. He has worked in the past for National Geographic as well as The Washington Post and so experienced first-hand the changes that have becoming ever faster in recent years. He confronted the challenges we all face in a world where supply of images has gone through the roof whereas the audience time and attention span has shrunk. He offered some interesting ideas on how to meet those challenges, above all reinvention and lack of fear!

After lunch it was Gail Mooney’s turn to inspire and move us with the story of her project film “Opening Our Eyes”, a documentary about individuals changing their world for the better. Gail made the film with her daughter on a shoestring budget, using social media and non-traditional methods to find new ways for distribution and revenue. Her film has been extremely well received and the bits we saw where very inspiring.

The first legal session in the afternoon was given by Sandra Aistars, Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance. She gave a thorough overview of the changing in copyright legislation in the US.

Sunday’s sessions were started off by James Pierson, responsible for safety and risk management at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. I admit the concept of Second Life seems a little bizarre to me but it is of course also another market for images and innovative distributors are making the most of it. Pierson has to make sure that intellectual property rights are not violated even in a virtual universe and he gave an interesting overview of different types of copyright infringements as well as how best to handle the perpetrators.

Next was the first panel discussion on numbers and analysis, how best to use analytical tools to improve your business and especially adept to the needs of the customers. In a similar vain the second panel discussed the use of social media and its tangible and intangible benefits for the company. Everyone feels that they should use Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs but how many of us really use them to our advantage? An important issue raised—it can not be done in a half-hearted way!

Two more sessions, both panel discussions on the use and creation of motion as well as increasing submissions by contributors and how to handle the large numbers round off an extremely well-balanced programme.

To me the PACA International Conference is a firm date in the calendar, I find the sessions inspiring and informative—I would recommend it to anyone!


Sessions Sponsors: ASMP, ASPP, Microstock Diaries, Global ImageWorks

Bag Sponsor: Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Lanyard Sponsor: Ivary Inc.