From an African Viewpoint – Africa Media Online

By Julian Jackson

Africa Media Online is a South Africa-based picture agency, which showcases historical material and contemporary photojournalism, covering the whole of the African continent with photographers who are on-the-spot with specialist knowledge of their area. Robyn Keet, Client Manager with AMO, says, “This focus means that superior coverage can be obtained with expediency, from photographers who have excellent contacts and local knowledge.”

Namibian landscape (c)Jacques Marais/Africa Media Online

Namibian landscape (c)Jacques Marais/Africa Media Online


She explains that they are particular about only using Africa-based photographers. Those that do not have the requisite skills or equipment are brought up to international standards with a training programme. The agency has a social media focus on returning fees to community-based photographers so they have a different emphasis to some of the more hard-nosed commercial agencies – what Robyn calls “Fair Trade Photography”. Africa Media Online has been instrumental in the creation of, in conjunction with World Press Photo – a free resource for professional photographers in Africa aimed at ensuring they can compete in both local and international markets for photography. The training is led by professional photographers and other technical experts, and has had a big impact in helping talented people achieve their objectives in both still imaging and videography.

AMO’s big strength, according to Robyn, is in editorial photography rather than the advertising/corporate sector. Starting in the year 2000 with a single photographer, they have grown to encompass an ever-expanding 180,000 online images, representing over 300 photographers, photographic libraries, archives and museums around Africa. Historic collections going back to the early 1900s are also part of their offering including Bailey’s African History archives and Iziko Museums, master photographers such as David Goldblatt and Graeme Williams, photographic libraries like Africa Imagery and Art Publishers and African archives including those of Mo Amin and the A24 Media collection. They also have the (South African) Times Media archives, which covers a huge swathe of publications going back to colonial times, including painting and illustration as well as photography. They have acted as advisers during the digitization process and helped the collection to reach the marketplace.

Policeman inspecting papers during the Apartheid era. (c)Africa Media Online

Policeman inspecting papers during the Apartheid era. (c)Africa Media Online

Although the apartheid era looms large in the historic archives, with trials, racist signage, and of course the triumphant release of Nelson Mandela from imprisonment in 1990, the collection is much broader in focus. It has images of all aspects of African life – not just safari parks and beautiful countryside, but also features on lifestyle and social subjects like dance studios, migrants and refugees, street vendors, recycling, sports – a cross-section of contemporary life on the continent.

During the soccer World Cup in 2010 held in South Africa – the first time this major championship kicked off in an African nation – AMO and World Press Photo took the decision to train new photographers and give them the opportunity to tell stories about their world, from their point of view. Jean-Pierre Kepseu was one of those selected for the Twenty Ten project. This used the media-friendly circumstances of the World Cup to empower African journalists to tell Africa’s story. 128 text, radio, photo and multimedia-journalists from 34 countries were trained in six workshops held in six countries around Africa to produce content in the run up to and during the World Cup. The top 18 journalists were invited to South Africa to create content on the ground during the event, Jean-Pierre was amongst those selected. The journalists produced 129 photo features, 108 radio features, 170 text features and 20 multimedia features in French and English. Jean-Pierre used the experience to begin supplying daily life images from Cameroon to be sold through Africa Media Online.

Soccer fans during the 2010 World Cup (c)Jean-Pierre Kepseu/Africa Media Online

Soccer fans during the 2010 World Cup (c)Jean-Pierre Kepseu/Africa Media Online

Many distinguished contributors include Greg Marinovich, who has covered working conditions and strikes, including the Marikana Mine killings, where 34 striking miners were shot dead by police, and Roger de la Harpe, who specializes in the wildlife, landscapes and people of South Africa.

Robyn Keet says, “Our contributors have the most amazing vision of our vibrant continent. I hope Visual Connections readers will take up the challenge to explore our site and see how fresh and dynamic our content is, and you will be helping support the developing media of Africa.”

Marikana, the shanty town surrounding an industrial facility (c) Greg Marinovich/Africa Media Online

Marikana, the shanty town surrounding an industrial facility (c) Greg Marinovich/Africa Media Online

juliancoffeshopcuJulian Jackson is a writer with extensive experience of picture research, whose main interests include photography and the environment. His portfolio is here: He also runs a Picture Research by Distance Learning Course Linked-in profile.

The New Optics of Aging: Healthy, Wealthy and Fashion Forward

As demographics change along with an aging population, some wonderful style icons and trends are emerging and taking hold. Guest writer Brooke Hodess takes a look at some of them.

In 2005 The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art premiered “Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection.” The exhibit, curated by Stéphane Houy-Towner, featured an assemblage of the then 83-year-old style icon’s personal wardrobe.

In the ten years since, Apfel has modeled for major brands like Louis Vuitton, been the subject of a film by the late famed documentarian Albert Maysle, and created her own fashion items like senior wearables (think luxury FitBits). Not to mention she has an Instagram following of over 281K.

Seemingly overnight, Iris Apfel put senior fashion on the optic map. However, along with the now 94-year-old, people like the late Bill Cunningham, street fashion photographer for the New York Times, and fashion blogger Ari Seth Cohen, have shined the spotlight on sexagenarians, septuagenarians and beyond who illustrate that glamour, beauty and style get better with age.

In April, Cohen launched Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, a new edition of his best-selling 2012 book of the same name that introduced us to senior street style. The follow-up is more of the same delightful, inspired images that turn the idea of the dowdy old person on its headdress and shows women and men bursting with vibrancy, sophistication and confidence.


In an impromptu chat with Sarah Jane Adams during an Advanced Style book signing at MOCA in Los Angeles, the Australian Instagram sensation (@saramailjewels), and one of Cohen’s subjects, expressed hope that the attention paid to boomers and seniors was more than a trend, and we’re moving beyond “heroin chic to more real looking people.” And real includes white hair flying free and wrinkles worn proud. In Adams’s case, her style defies the senior stereotype as she is often shot wearing layered prints and pops of color and carries her beloved Adidas attire, for which she is not a sponsor, as well as any sports icon.

With 16–25 being the typical age range of fashion models, 2016 seems to be the year designers are bucking tradition and incorporating older models into the mix. Calvin Klein’s fall campaign includes Grace Coddington, the 75-year-old creative director of American Vogue magazine. A recent TJ Maxx spot includes (another Advanced Style subject) sixty-something Tziporah Salamon reminding viewers to “be true to who you are.” Online retailer Swimsuits for All placed an ad in Sports Illustrated that featured a gold-lamé-bikini-clad 56-year-old Nicola Griffin. “People think you lose your sex appeal as you get older—but that’s a myth,” said Griffin in a statement via Adweek.

For some designers, the older model isn’t just a piece of the show, she’s the main event. James Perse, an LA-based fashion and furniture brand known for its minimalist $75 T-shirts and rustic chic aesthetic, put 68-year-old Maye Musk (yes, Elon Musk’s mum) front and center for its fall campaign.

Not all see the older woman in fashion breaking beyond the occasional burst of awareness. In an interview with The Cut, 67-year-old former stylist and beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin said, A beautiful photograph and the reinforcement of older people in general is great. I don’t think it has to be carried beyond that point. I just don’t see it being on the cover of Vogue or Prada doing it every season. It was a one-off and powerful. It was a punctuation to say, ‘Hey! Here we are.’”

Perhaps in some cases it is simply gimmick. Bo Gilbert, for example, was the first 100-year-old model to appear in British Vogue (May 2016), in celebration of the magazine’s centennial. Vogue claims the campaign aims to highlight ageism in the industry. We’ll have to wait and see how that one plays out, but gimmicky or not, Gilbert made history and that’s still progress, however small.

On the other end of the spectrum, in the stock photography world, age diversity is encouraged. In an Alamy blog post that noted technology as a top category in 2016 stock photography trends, they stated, “Don’t limit imagery to youth subjects. Show a wide range ages interacting with modern technology.” And a bullet point when it came to the Lifestyle and Food category: ”People of all ages using fitness technology.”

In Stock Photography Secrets, a 2015 trend listicle noted “images highlighting people of different ages participating in activities that don’t fall under the realm of their usual stereotyped definitions will no doubt become more popular. A variety of different aged people (particularly in groups) is also important to consider when choosing your subjects and capturing them as naturally and realistically as possible. . . . Remember that as the population as a whole gets older due to a longer life span companies are increasingly targeting them.

But are they? As Time magazine cited in a piece for its March 14, 2016 issue, the 50-plus market is a global market nearly the size of China, with an unprecedented spending power, representing 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income. (Another staggering number: boomers will inherit $13 trillion in the next 20 years.) And yet, advertisers seem to be missing the boat. As Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT AgeLab stated for the article, “Marketers still present these years as filled with golf, cruises and a rocking chair.” He added, “The next generation of retirees expects to go out in fashion and with style.”

With people living longer, remaining in better health, and not giving in to old-age atrophy, companies have to create new marketing strategies and advertisers have to design new campaigns that require stock agencies, art producers, photographers and casting companies to use models that mirror the aging demographic, and do so realistically. Perhaps the world of haute couture won’t go beyond novelty, but when it comes to ready-to-wear and common categories—from cosmetics to computers to cars—advertisers are wise to market less to millennials and put more dollars toward their moms and dads.

Brooke Hodess is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles.

Alan Kent Bailey 1963-2016

In remembrance to our treasured friend and colleague Alan Bailey –


Alan Kent Bailey, 53, passed away on July 5, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Alan was born on May 24, 1963 in Salt Lake City to Donald and Mildred Bailey. When he was eight, his family moved to Mexico for two years, after which they moved to Rigby, Idaho, where he spent the rest of his childhood exploring and getting into trouble with his similarly wild siblings.

Alan met and married the love of his life, Laura, in college. Together, they became better, purer versions of themselves and made the world around them better and purer too. They have five children, all of whom they adore and love wholeheartedly.

Alan lived big. He embraced life, especially experiences and people. He loved surfing, ice cream, new socks, museums, watered-down soap, puzzles, and making others laugh. He was both a successful businessman and an absolute goof who grinned as others teased him for his endearing quirks.

There was no discrimination in his love. He loved everyone and helped people realize they deserved that love. He actively practiced empathy by listening to and believing the emotional truths people shared with him. He never assumed he knew what someone was going through and listened with an open heart as people shared. His love was healing.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Bailey, and sister Kathleen Bailey Liggett. His mother, Mildred Bailey; his siblings, Carol Bailey Pepiot, Kevin Bailey, Kirk Bailey, and Chris Bailey; his wife, Laura Bailey; and his children, Regan Bailey Gull, Holden Bailey, Q Bailey, Paul Bailey, and Gabriela Bailey live on and miss him fiercely.

The viewing will be held on Sunday July 10 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Canyon View Stake Center, 575 E 800 N Orem, UT 84097. The funeral will be held at the same location on Monday July 11 at 11 a.m. with a viewing from 9-10:30 a.m. prior to the services.

We cannot fill the hole he leaves, but we can honor him by living authentic lives full of love and acceptance.

We can live big for Alan.

Thanks to Rick Becker-Lecrone for the obituary.

Evolution of a Visual Researcher

Laura Lucas of Big Picture Research is one of our valued contributors hailing from up north in Canada. She writes today about the necessity of community and our trade associations.

For many years, I worked the same image research job at a media organization. It was not straightforward but there was an entire team to rely on and teach me the ropes. Surprise! Just several years in, corporate restructuring left me as the sole Visual Researcher. I was still somewhat junior, lacking legal experience and a bit overwhelmed in a niche position.

In those early years, I struggled as colleagues looked to me for answers and decisions about release forms, copyright, music fees and where to find images of “Jesus” or “UFO’s.” It never crossed my mind that perhaps the work I did could be considered a professional trade outside my office walls and that there were others who knew the ropes. I simply had to ask. That’s when a supplier put me in touch with an expert in music clearance. She was the perfect mentor who pointed me in just the right direction to get the answers I needed while learning all on my own. We kept in touch.

Several years later I was invited to a Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada gathering and met a group of colleagues all doing similar work. I was surprised to learn there were so many of us, that our issues and experiences were very common and that requests for Jesus and UFO’s was really just the tip of the iceberg! I felt validated and hopeful that I could become an expert researcher!

I learned quickly to network; put a face to all the people I spoke with each day. I took advantage of a variety of educational workshops this group offered to bolster my experience. Some days we commiserated together and others we shared ideas on how to make our jobs easier and faster! I excelled at my job, became well-respected and eventually outgrew my position. I decided to go freelance!

It was a scary move and I relied heavily on VRSC. The support was instantaneous. Job referrals came my way. Colleagues mentored me at length on starting a visual research business. Travel and tour opportunities to archive facilities presented themselves. The on-going information sharing of contacts, industry news and tips and tricks is gold!

Today, the VRSC numbers close to 100 across Canada. There’s an Annual General Meeting, a full board of directors, a health benefits plan, industry recognition for our field and we have negotiating power as a large body of professionals to get improved prices for our clients. It is clear to me that as the workforce moves toward a freelance business model, there has never been a stronger need for professional trades to band together. You need personal contacts to build trust. Social media just doesn’t cut it.

I have come full circle in my professional life that am happy to serve as a member of the board, eager to promote excellence in the field of visual research and look forward to helping mentor a new group of people that started out just like me.

As an afterwords; other trade associations to explore below – if you are a member of one that we need to know about, drop us a line! – Association of Media Content Users and Providers – Association of Independent Commercial Producers – American Society of Picture Professionals

There are tons others for Picture Agencies all over the world, including, DMLA(Digital Media Licensing Association), BAPLA(in the UK), CEPIC(Europe) and so on.

For Freelancers – The Freelancers Union offers support, insurance, seminars and more.

Headshot3_TEMPO Photography - BERN -6273Laura Lucas is a Visual Researcher and Rights Clearance Officer with 20 years of experience in the media market. She’s worked extensively with TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, with freelance video producers and with archivists and libraries. Having just launched her own company Big Picture Research, she’s driven by the thrill of the hunt to find the perfect image that can help bring a story to life and clearing the underlying permissions for its use. Her archival research work in turn has led her to explore the emerging field of digital estate planning and helping people organize and protect their digital assets. See more and contact Laura here:

Dim the lights on Seventh Avenue – Bill Cunningham

Tributes like flowers are covering the internet with tributes to and memories of revered photographer Bill Cunningham. We can’t top these moving eulogies so we thought we would gather some of them here.

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From the fashion world:

From Salon: ..a model for a creative life..

‘The Eyes of a City’ Gawker

Lynn Yaeger in Vogue tells a moving story with this quote: “Child, who cares if we’re not invited! Who cares about these uptown people! We are downtown people!’’

The diner where he ate breakfast every day, Stage Star Deli .

As Anna says: “We all dress for Bill.”

His muse from The New Yorker:

A Gallery of Mr. Cunningham and some of his images:

Want more? Check out this 2011 documentary on Hulu, Amazon or iTunes: “Bill Cunningham New York.” 

A petition is going as of the posting of this blog to name a street after him – add your name here:

Gordon Kaye, GDUSA – Part 2 – continuing the conversation

Michael and Gordon pick up where they left off last week.


Michael Masterson: What drives you and GDUSA? What’s your passion?

Gordon Kaye: We still believe in the power of print and I am awed by the critical role that graphic designers can play in shaping commerce and culture. As long as those two things exist, we will be here in some way, shape or form.

Michael: Because the magazine touches on so many areas of design, what trends do you see in the industry?

Gordon: I am not a designer and, so maybe not the best person to ask this question. I will say that the digital revolution has clearly put web design into the very top tier of how designers earn a living (along with print and package design and promotion). Moreover, as the technologies become more sophisticated, designers are being called upon to up their game — UX design, interactive design, motion graphics design are all becoming important and in-demand professional skills beyond web design. A couple of other thoughts: the digital wave and the increasing move to mobile is forcing designers to simplify their logos, identities and designs for readability and communication on smaller and smaller screens; and I have noticed that the free and open digital exchange is encouraging more unique color use and color exchange.

Michael: Can you tell us a little bit about the American Graphic Design Awards?

Gordon: This is our flagship competition, around for five decades. It is an interesting way to give designers recognition and for everyone to see trends and what is successful. In keeping with our collective temperament and market positioning, we try to make this competition as open, welcoming and democratic as possible. People really like the design annual that comes out of it each year, and we have spun off a couple of targeted competitions to delver deeper into areas of opportunity such as our American Inhouse Design Awards and American Package Design Awards. I also like to think that these competitions help encourage designers — and clients — to strive for great work. Professional graphic designers and commercial printers understand instinctively that effective design is a powerful tool for commerce and culture. My fear is that clients—battered by tight budgets, under pressure for quick turnarounds, steeped in a digital culture, and less educated in the craft of graphic arts—too often understand the cost of everything and the value of nothing. In contests, I look for the pieces, projects and campaigns that define the design problem and craft a thoughtful, strategic and relevant solution. If we’re lucky, it might even be beautiful. Such projects exist; you just have to look harder. Such clients exist; you just have to look harder.

Michael: What blogs, podcasts, Instagram or Twitter posts do you follow?

Gordon: Podcasts such as Debbie Millman’s Design Matters, The John Batchelor Show.

Blogs including Design Observer, Brain Pickings, Grain Edit, Swiss Miss, Brand New Logos, Dexigner, The Die Line, The Creative Group and Real Clear Politics. And on Instagram I like Pantone, AIGA, Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman.

Michael: Finally, what might people be surprised to know about you?

Gordon: A few things. I have run several marathons and, even at my advanced age, I run 5 miles every single day. I am very involved in my alma mater, Hamilton College, currently as President of the Alumni Association, because I believe in the institution and in the power of a traditional liberal arts education. The College just went to need-blind admissions which means more students of diverse backgrounds can afford a first-rate education. Finally, in a city, profession, community, family and company that skews politically left (to say the least), I am a registered Republican. I believe there is a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, pro-economic growth path to a kind, fair, vigorous, and successful society. I am trying to figure out whether “compassionate conservatism” can really work. Most everyone I know thinks I am crazy. Maybe so.



Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 3.35.52 PMMichael Masterson has a broad range of experience in marketing, business development, strategic planning, contact negotiations and recruiting in the photography, graphic design and publishing industries. In addition to his long experience at the Workbook and Workbookstock, Masterson owned and was creative director of his own graphic design firm for several years. Masterson has been a speaker or panelist at industry events such as Seybold, PhotoPlus Expo, Visual Connections and the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) national conference. He is past national president of the American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP). He currently heads Masterson Consulting, working on projects ranging from business development for creative companies and sourcing talent for them to promoting and marketing industry events as well as providing resume and professional profile services for job-seekers. He can be reached at

Less a mystery and more a love story; Gordon Kaye, GDUSA and Publishing

Gordon Kaye has long been a supporter of and friend to Visual Connections. Finally got the busy man to be interviewed by Michael Masterson. This week, Part 1:

Gordon Kaye is editor and publisher of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) magazine. He joined GDUSA in 1990 after a first career as communications attorney for a private law firm and then for the NBC Television Network where assignments included NBC News and Saturday Night Live. He received a B.A. from Hamilton College, and a joint degree in Law and Public Policy from Princeton University and Columbia Law School. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Susan, an art dealer turned reading specialist teacher. He has two grown daughters.


Michael Masterson: You were an attorney working for NBC handling intellectual property and regulatory issues. What led you from that to publishing?

Gordon Kaye: It is less a mystery than a love story. Yes, I had an interesting law career; first working for a large Wall Street law firm representing publishing and advertising clients. Then I moved in-house at NBC, the television network, practicing media, communications and entertainment law, as well as appearing on the set at 30 Rock to vet Saturday Night Live for potential legal problems. On paper (and at cocktail parties) my legal career looked pretty good.
But here’s the rub. Starting in the early 1950s, my father worked at or owned various design, printing and ad industry magazines. Even as a young child, I came to love the feel and smell of print, its beauty and power. And though my father was not a designer, nor am I, we both shared a respect—make that fascination—for the ability of graphic artists to tell a story, sell a product, advance an idea. I never got over that feeling, and most days as a lawyer I fantasized about being a publisher. On the other hand, participating in a small family business is fraught with problems, and so I pursued my own career. Then my dad’s ventures hit hard times; by 1990 his business was essentially a shell. I jumped in to try and turn things around—maybe for a year or two, with no particular skills, just a passion for print. Luckily, passion—and lots of sweat—has been enough. Nearly a quarter century later, I wake up every morning anxious to get to work because publishing is fun, challenging, stimulating, meaningful. How many lawyers do you know who feel that way?

Michael: Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) has been around for 50 years. Can you talk a little about the changes in the magazine and publishing industry since you took the reins in 1990?

Gordon: Some of the changes are obvious, most particularly the transition from analog to digital production in type, film and layout. The more fundamental change is the role that a “trade magazine” plays. We were once the gatekeepers through which information flowed to, from and among the community, and to and from vendors. That gave us a lot of influence. Today, we are only one of many ways that people and companies and products and services can connect. That has serious ramifications on the editorial content we need to provide to remain relevant, and it has serious economic implications that all magazines are grappling with. What is your reason-to-be and what do you bring to the table? In that sense, all magazines have to ask those questions.

Michael: What do you see as the direction for GDUSA going forward in the next five years to stay relevant and competitive?

Gordon: These days, as much as I believe in print, no magazine can stand alone; our company lives because we also deliver information and have income streams from our website which is newly redesigned and which I love, from e-newsletters, blogs, sponsored content, several design contests, a digital flipbook edition, and other activities. Integrating print with digital media is absolutely necessary, and the real challenge is to figure out what works on the digital side and what can be monetized so that you can sustain the business. No one, not even the big guns like The New York Times, has fully figured this out. I have not, but hope springs eternal and the joke/mantra in our office is “Last Magazine Standing.”

At the same time – at the risk of being boring and repetitive – the print version is still the brand; it gives us the gravitas and provides the authenticity. I am investing more in design and production elements because the brand matters, and the experience of receiving GDUSA had better be special and memorable. While many publications are shrinking or stopping, we are generating lots more pages, on heavier paper stock, with better design than ever. I have no deep pockets and no secret sauce. I simply start from the fundamental belief that people still love print for its classic strengths—touch, feel, permanence, portability—and that a magazine can stand out from the digital noise IF it delivers relevant content and high production values.



Next week, Part 2!

The Man Who Took Films In – Huntley Archives

Archivists young and old appreciate the value of deep research and access in this era of shortened attention spans and rushed internet searches. Huntley Archives has always been known for holding unique, quirky or unusual films within a vast and growing collection. Office Manager Bronwyn Neal was kind enough to chat in-depth with us recently.

The founder of Huntley Archives, John Huntley had a fascinating career, starting with him working for Alexander Korda, writing film reviews for the RAF, and establishing a 23-year associations with the British Film Institute. Can you talk about how he and his daughter were prompted to form the Archives?

John Huntley had been collecting films from 1945 and built a sizeable private collection.  Production and television companies came to know of John as ‘the man who took films in’ and donated their collections to him.  His daughter Amanda remembers growing up in a house in London where kitchen cupboards were full of film reels; and the staircase was only half width as her father efficiently used the stairs as additional shelving. John used the films to illustrate his talks on a variety of subjects, and toured the world with such shows as cinema in Australia, cricket in the West Indies, and the transport of London.

At the same time, John’s phone started to ring with enquiries for documentary film clips to illustrate television production and Amanda joined her father to run the sales division.  British television channel Channel 4 commissioned a whole range of quality history documentaries.  Huntley Film Archives supplied footage and sales grew rapidly.  Over the intervening thirty plus years licensing requirements have expanded into a wide range of television, corporate, educational, feature and museum needs; and the Huntley team supply footage for documentary and entertainment productions alike.

You have a collection that covers over 100 years of Social History in all aspects. How do you find your material?

Unlike the majority of libraries which have a specialist field of interest – sport, or natural history or news being prime examples – Huntley has been entirely eclectic in its collections.  We combine the best of the ethos of the public and private sectors and preserve all films whilst needing to be commercial and make these films available. This has meant a very wide range of long-retired producers have lodged their films with us. They know their films will be protected and cared for in our preservation vaults.  New (old) collections arrive at the archive every month and whilst the core of the library is set between the 1890’s and the 1970’s we now hold over 5,000 hours of tape from feature film production from the last 20 years.

Tell us a bit about how you look after the collection – storage, cataloging, etc. Do clients ever come to your facilities to search?

Our films are stored in a temperature and humidity controlled vault to preserve them as best as possible. Our 80,000 + films are logged on our in-house database with all the pertinent information, such as date, category, title, format, language, origin and most importantly a detailed synopsis that describes the footage. It is this synopsis that our customers can search on our website and enables us to match films with our researchers’ requirements. We welcome clients to our premises; but our online database search facility has over 14,000 digitised clips for viewing online and we  provide free research to help customers find what they need.

I see that you offer film archiving classes – great service and much needed. How are they structured and taught? I would think that a lot of researchers seeking you out would need a crash course in working with archival materials.

We offer a range of courses, which prove popular with people from different backgrounds.   These could be people new to the industry, or those seeking a change of emphasis – perhaps they have been in production and now they want to work on the other side.  We teach the practice of film archiving – it is next to impossible to find practical information on this outside our courses – and this year’s London-based course has a five week classroom element backed by work placements at leading industry institutions. There is clearly a great need for enthusiastic archivists and librarians to learn about film and last year’s students have all entered the industry, attaining positions with Sky News, the BBC, the BFI and other leading companies. Huntley has a proud history of preparing and introducing new talent to the industry; and previous delegates have gone on to work in a variety of film and archive-based jobs for such bodies as the European Space Agency, the Bosnian Film Archive, ITN, for producers in the U.K. and Canada, and in archives in Israel amongst many more.

Our next available courses are aimed at media professionals who are seeking insight into the archive world, but are short of time. Hence we are offering two 1-day beginners’ courses at the BFI in London in October 2016.

Some of your favorite clips would be?

I love seeing places and everyday life and just how social history and fashion has evolved. Some great examples are:   1900 in Paris, the first travelator! Berlin 1920s streets

How do you compete and find your clients?

Huntley Film Archives is one of the largest of independent film archives in the world, stands alone and values its independence.  The lead researchers in the company have worked for Huntley for more than 25 years and know the archive inside out. Databases are all very well, but talking to a librarian who knows the collection will generate so much more than a simple online search. Nuance, feeling and subtlety are needed when searching for those tricky shots.  Fewer libraries mean less choice for the customer. Currently in development, and launching later in 2016, is our online portal; where clients can download master files for their productions. See our You Tube Channel, HuntleyHD, for an idea of the films that will be available via our own shop.

Is there a memorable project that comes to mind?

One of our recent projects was a lovely piece of footage about Japanese workers and family life in Tokyo in the 1960s, provided for Japanese TV. It was surprisingly to think that such footage couldn’t be sourced locally by Japanese TV producers, but I guess this is a good indicator of how worldwide our collection is.

Please add anything that you would like the readers know about the Archives.

Our ethos is traditional and old-fashioned but our delivery methods are current.  We really are a film archive – all our films dating from the 1980’s and earlier remain on the original 35mm, 16mm and amateur gauges.  Client technical requirements change yearly, and we have always found going back to the original source material to provide a new master is what the client really wants. We can provide the quality to suit any requirement.

Huntley Film Archives Logo Best

footageMarketplace Pulls in the Professionals

by Julian Jackson

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 7.38.19 AM

footageMarketplace, the London event aimed at the footage industry is now in its 6th year. Always held in the prestigious HQ of BAFTA in central London, it is similar to US expos staged by Visual Connections, albeit with more emphasis on footage – although increasingly stills collections supply motion material too now. This year, production music libraries also attended, and a new feature was four well-received seminars on different aspects of the industry.

Thirty-five agencies and industry service organisations exhibited in the congenial David Lean room. Some agencies had come from Europe, like Sonuma from Belgium, or SVT from Sweden, and large international vendors such as Getty Images, Shutterstock and Adobe were in attendance. UK stalwarts like robertharding, Science Photo Library and NaturePL, were there, along with industry service providers like Capture, and trade association FOCAL International.

This is one of the few events in the UK where professional buyers and sellers of footage can meet face to face to make deals and network. It also is useful to find out what is happening generally in the industry and how specific footage agencies are faring.

This year, for the first time, production music was included. Phil Hope, Group Managing Director of Cutting Edge Film Scores says, “We have a fantastic library of film music from feature films and TV that was produced over the last 6 or 7 years. We have all rights for usage. We work on 30-40 feature films per year so the library is growing very fast.” Phil adds, “We saw footageMarketplace as an opportunity to connect to a different sort of user. We are very well connected to advertising agencies, trailer houses, the traditional users of film score music. We came here to find producers and other users, who would equally well find value in our music.” Other production music libraries included Soundvault – which has funding to create an interesting universal metadata tagging system similar to the Bitcoin blockchain – which may help clarify licencing issues, and Soho Production Music.

A new agency exhibiting for the first time this year was LOLA Clips. This stands for London/Los Angeles – their twin bases of operation. They are bringing high-quality footage content to the marketplace, including aerial drone, news, historical clips, 35mm and 4K. Joint CEO Sandra Coelho says, “We are a boutique agency – we curate all our clips, so there are 10-20 thousand on our site, but they have all been chosen carefully to go up there. Each of our suppliers has a Partner Page so you can see what type of material they have. We’ve just taken over the London Live collection (a cable TV station) which has all sorts of stories about London you won’t find elsewhere.”

Major archives like the BFI and Imperial War Museum were well represented. Budget cuts mean that publicly-owned archival organisations need to be imaginative in their clip sales and licensing in order to survive. They have a remit to preserve material and that costs money, especially if it is in danger or needs urgent restoration. An archive source who didn’t want to be named said that they were aiming to maximize their clip sales to make up for lost government revenue. Paul Johnson of ITV Sport Archive said that their main issue was deteriorating old videotape formats (such as 1” and Betacam) and having to keep aging, obsolete tape machines going, when spare parts are no longer manufactured.

Barbara Rodriguez, of Sonuma, which is a collection of Belgian public television content going back to 1956, said that their reason for coming to fM was to expand their reach in the English-speaking marketplace, “We came to have more contact with UK freelances, because they work on several projects, and have wide contacts in the industry.”

Adobe were there for the first time. Since their acquisition of fotolia in 2014 they have moved aggressively into the stills space, and are adding clips, although footage is probably less than 10% of their collection of 52 million “assets”. Because of their links with the creative community, they are able to build their collection rapidly.

It seems that the industry in general is recovering from the downturn somewhat. It’s always difficult to tell, but there was an aura of cautious optimism. There is definitely a premium marketplace for 4K clips, even though HD would really be adequate for nearly all usages. Most agencies I asked said they got requests for 4K. Big screen events need that format, together with feature films. A few demurred, like Raw Cut (which does lots of police dashcam and CCTV footage) so does not get asked for larger format material. Interestingly they have just linked up with the Born Free Foundation to market their clips of animal rescue.

Four cutting edge industry seminars ran during the day, from thought-leaders like Peter Stower – Content Partnerships, Google / YouTube, Global, and Simon Gosling – Creative Evangelist, HappyFinish, talking about the future of VR.

Bob Prior, publisher of StockFootage and StockIndex online and organiser of the event says, “In our sixth year, this was the most successful footageMarketplace so far. A major contributing factor was the seminars, which were highly rated, most attendees giving them an eight or nine out of ten. We chose subjects which would be stimulating to industry professionals and they were highly regarded.”

He adds, “We will definitely be doing more seminars next year, but we always try to do something new to improve each event, rather than just stay the same all the time.”


juliancoffeshopcuJulian Jackson is a writer with extensive experience of picture research, whose main interests include photography and the environment. His portfolio is here: He also runs a Picture Research by Distance Learning Course












The Surgeon Behind The Knick: Interview with Dr. Burns

We are so pleased to present this interview with Dr. Burns – much gratitude to Sonia Epstein, author and Executive Editor, Sloan Science and Film. This article is republished with permission from Sloan Science & Film, an online publication reporting on all things science and film, published by Museum of the Moving Image and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (New York).

Dr. Stanley B. Burns lives in a multi-storey townhouse in Manhattan with yellow walls and hundreds of thousands of photographs—from Nazi policemen who killed the first Jews during World War II, to the complete nervous system of a female patient, to the operating theatres of the early 20th century, to a surgeon reaching his hand into a patient’s chest, to a man with his skull cut open and brain exposed.

Dr. Burns has the largest private collection of medical photography and historic photographs in the world—over one million. It is all housed in his home, The Burns Archive, drawers open to reveal pocket-sized daguerreotype portraits framed in gold, and wall panels slide back exposing shelves of medical journals and photographic albums sorted by type and color. There are old vials of medicine, such as cocaine.



An ophthalmologist who first trained as a general surgeon, Dr. Burns took over the practice of a Nazi-era doctor who was the head doctor in the Berlin Police who came to New York, married a Jewish woman. When Jewish people came from Berlin to New York many became his patients. Dr. Burns is still a practicing doctor as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has published 45 books, most recently the seven pound book Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism. He has consulted on hundreds of documentaries, and recently his archive has been brought to life in two television series: HBO-Cinemax’s THE KNICK and PBS’s MERCY STREET. He and his daughter, Elizabeth A. Burns, were on set–in New York and Richmond, Virginia–for both shoots. He served as the Medical, Historical, and Technical Advisor, and she as the Photographic Archivist and Associate Medical Consultant. Dr. Burns trained the actors in both shows in surgery and period medical attitudes. Just about all the surgeries recreated on THE KNICK Dr. Burns has performed at some time. MERCY STREET borrowed his collection of Civil War surgical instruments for use on set.

MERCY STREET, supported by the Sloan Foundation, has premiered its first season. Science & Film previously interviewed showrunner and writer David Zabel and executive producer David Zucker. THE KNICK has aired two seasons and is planned for four more. Created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, the series is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Clive Owen.

Science & Film visited Dr. Burns, his daughter Liz, and son J at The Burns Archive in the late afternoon on April 20. We talked with Dr. Burns about MERCY STREET, THE KNICK, and his collection.

Science & Film: What were the most important medical innovations during the Civil War, when MERCY STREET is set, and at the turn of the century when THE KNICK is set?

Stanley B. Burns: R.B. Bontecou was one of the only surgeons who took photographs during the war of wounded soldiers to show the results of treatment. He developed bone excision, which was to cut out a piece of the upper arm bone and simply sew the skin up. The problem was, you then had a useless arm, which was worse than no arm because it always got in your way. You couldn’t move it–you could flail it around. After the discovery of antiseptic principles in 1867 by Joseph Lister in England after the Civil War, most of these arms were cut off. Even then, very few doctors practiced antiseptic techniques, as was witnessed by killing of President James Garfield by doctors in 1881. Included in Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons are pictures of his spine from his autopsy. The President was shot and the principle was the same Civil War bullet wound concept they were using 20 years earlier—stick your hands in the body to find the bullet. And that’s what they did: they made a huge wound with their dirty unwashed fingers. After Garfield died we finally went into antiseptic and asepsis surgical techniques. But during the Civil War you saw none of it, and doctors often held sutures in their mouths wetting it with saliva while sewing up.

On MERCY STREET we have a bone excision, which was done with a fancy saw to get around the bone.

During the Civil War, surgery was very serious work because of the large number of wounded. Doctors attempted as short a period of anesthesia as possible, so the surgery was quick—two minutes, five minutes maybe. It wasn’t a complicated procedure. Just quickly cut through the muscle and bone.

S&F: It sounds like you were teaching people how to do the wrong thing in the right way on MERCY STREET?

SB: It only was the wrong thing later. There is a lot of wrong medicine. I don’t know if you watch television, but they have lawyers on there everyday saying call your doctor if you ate spinach, or something like that. Call if your mother’s grandfather smoked near an asbestos plant. But you don’t know until afterwards the ill effects of chemicals, medicines, and procedures. But you have to do the procedures known at the time–come up with an idea to try to help and you only find out it’s wrong later.

S&F: That’s one of the things I love about THE KNICK—that it dramatizes that discovery process.

SB: You see every discovery, you see the thought process. What you’re witnessing there, a lot of the stories, are from my material. I have the complete library of the major medical journals from about 1885 to 1935. We have 10,000 books here.

S&F: Do people come here knowing exactly what they are looking for?

SB: Not extctly. People come here not knowing what they’re looking for, and then they find it. That’s why we were THE KNICK advisors, because I had written an article about a woman with nasal destruction from syphilis—this is one of the things I’ve been promoting for years because I have great pictures of that. All of that came out of here. When they came here they had a pilot, they left with a season. Where are you going to look for historic medical photographs? Here.

S&F: So the writers knew they wanted to write this show?

SB: Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, the writers, and Steven Soderbergh, the director, came here to discuss their pilot. They were supposed to be here for a half hour or so, and they stayed for several hours, and they got the stories because I showed them each and every one. That’s what I do; I’m a storyteller. I’ve written 1179 articles. From that day on I was a member of the team. Liz and I were on set for the entire production. Then we went through the procedures to show them what to do. We made sure the surgeries were period perfect.

We walked into MERCY STREET, into their big “idea” room, they had a room in this great gothic Moroccan building – the former Richmond City Hall–and it was just filled with photographs from my book Shooting Soldiers. So it was my photographs of wounded soldiers and operations that helped create the show. The nice part for me was that they listened to me when I made corrections and introduced some dramatic visual effects.

S&F: How was working on these shows different than consulting on a documentary?

SB: Usually a documentary is someone else’s story. These are my stories. The showrunners came to us with an idea and we filled in the blanks. The whole part of the brain that is filled with songs, for me is filled with pictures and stories. I don’t remember songs. Just think of all the songs you know, that’s all the pictures I have.

S&F: Can you give me an example of how you worked together with Soderbergh?

SB: The first day of shooting on THE KNICK they filled up the big surgery amphitheater with about 100 doctors, and Steven walks into the room and is getting ready to shoot and I said, this isn’t right. You have all these young, good-looking doctors up front. If Spielberg or Scorcese invited you to watch them film, would you be in the first row, or the last row? So it’s all the older experienced professors up front, and all the younger, inexperienced doctors who know nothing, who barely know what they’re seeing, in back. Steven listened–he then spent a half an hour rearranging the audience so that the older-looking doctors were right up front like they were meant to be. Had it been done the wrong way, all the historians in the world would have watched it and said, what’s Jake Gyllenhaal doing in the first row, and Sean Connery doing in the back row?

S&F: Have you ever had any historians critique the show?

SB: THE KNICK has only received positive feedback. I am a member of many surgical groups and all the historical groups. THE KNICK is perfect. One of the results of the series is the realistic and medically accurate medical models and prosthetics. Between Season 1 and Season 2 Fractured FX (the make-up FX company) was hired by Boston Children’s Hospital, a division of Mass General, to create prosthetic body parts so that surgeons could learn to operate. The neurosurgeons worked with [Fractured FX] to make sure that the skin and tissue and brain was exactly accurate. You couldn’t tell the difference between a real person and the prosthetic. That’s an example of how medical science was advanced from The KNICK.

What I say in every one of my lectures is that the doctors 100 years ago or 200 years ago were just as smart, just as innovative, just as interested in helping their patients, but they labored under inferior knowledge and technology. The one critical thing to come away from this is that 100 years from now they will look at us the same way. The way medicine is advancing, bacteria can be used as indicators of everything from asthma to diabetes. In 50 years they will be swabbing all your orifices and skin to see what’s growing on you and in you, and will be able to tell what you have and what you will get. Yesterday alone I was absolutely thrilled to see that they discovered how to diagnose pancreatic cancer through the growth of a certain bacteria. Martin J. Blaser, MD is Director of the Human Microbiome Program at NYU and was the major proponent of that theory. We were pleasantly surprised when Marty was one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time Magazine, because he has totally changed the concept of causation and diagnosis of disease.

Although I’m a practicing ophthalmologist, I am in both the departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at NYU, so I go to medical and psychiatric grand rounds, and it’s absolutely amazing. When I went to medical school they taught us that 50% of what we learned in five years would be outmoded. I’ve had so many five-year periods.

S&F: Did you have a good time working on the show?

SB: We had a great time because I saw my stories come to life and had the honor of working with such amazing people.

The first motto of The Burns Archive was “Preserving the Vision of American Medicine.” The Historical Collection includes sections on Death & Memorial, Judaica, War & Conflict, and more; the Medical Collection includes Anatomy & Education, Operative Scenes, Pioneers & Innovators, among others. A number of photographs from The Burns Archive are currently on display in the exhibition, “Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play,” up now through July 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photographs © Stanley B. Burns, Md & The Burns Archive