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Cathy comes home and talks monkey business
Russell Glenister, CEO of Pocketstock, meets Cathy Yeulet
Cathy Yeulet, owner of Monkey Business Images, one of the very top microstock production houses and producer of many best selling microstock images. She previously owned RF production house Bananastock, which she sold a few years back.
RUSSELL Cathy, you and I go back many years to when you owned stock production house Banana Stock and I image100. Both having sold those companies we have taken slightly different routes back into the business, you sticking with the production and me with aggregation and selling. What made you decide to stick with production and switch from traditional RF to microstock?
CATHY It was not a difficult decision. Production is what I know whereas selling is a whole different set of skills that I am not sure I possess!
I had sold Bananastock because I was worried about the impact micro stock was going to have on the business so it was an easy choice to join the new and up and coming model.
RUSSELL I notice you have lost none of your ability to understand the market and produce images that sell really well, what do you put this down to?
CATHY I guess I just look at all aspects of life and try and cover them with images. Of course I also have a lot of historical knowledge on what the buyer is looking for and strangely this does not seem to change greatly.
RUSSELL I noticed recently that you are the number two non-exclusive best selling producer of images at iStock, some achievement. How difficult is it to gain traction at iStock as a non-exclusive producer? What's your secret?
CATHY There is no real secret. Produce pictures that people want to buy and you will do well. You also need to be in the position to have good production values and produce quantity.
RUSSELL Having just signed a deal with my new microstock business Pocketstock, in fact you were our first contract and of course we are pleased with that, what made you take the plunge, us being a new kid on the block?
CATHY Knowledge that you have a good track record in the business and will take it seriously meant I was happy to support Pocketstock.
RUSSELL What are the key decision you make when deciding where to put you material, how selective are you?
CATHY As above I need to believe in the company and see they have the funds in place to compete in such a competitive market. If they do not perform then we withdraw our images.
RUSSELL I saw you recently at the MicrostockExpo giving the keynote speech, for those that missed it, is there anything we should all know?
CATHY My general message was that technology has changed our business so we should always be aware of what's next and go with whatever it brings if we are to remain in the industry.
RUSSELL You have become a bit of a cult figure, Yuri and you and I know some microstock photographers love having their photos taken with you, how does that make you feel, the Queen of microstock?
RUSSELL You say that as I know you are modest, but it’s some achievement to stay at the top of your game for as long as you have. Finally, because I know you have just returned from a big shoot in Cape Town, for all those up and coming guys that would like to emulate you can you give them all one big tip on how to be successful?
CATHY Think before you shoot as no matter how pretty an image is, if it doesn't say anything then it won't sell.
RUSSELL Cathy thanks for your time and I am sure we will both make a lot of money from your material, keep it coming and thanks for the time.
Pocketstock, a new royalty free reseller, has soft launched with 19 of the very top microstock shooters and illustrators, including Monkey Business, Yuri Arcurs and Andres Rodriguez to name a few. It plans to have 1 million images online within 3 months and 3 million by the year end. It is being very selective about who and what it takes and is also seriously opening the market to phone images, which can now be shot using the Pocketstock iPhone or Android App and uploaded straight to the site for review. Video will follow shortly.