Noelle Federico has more than 20 years of experience in business management, media relations, sales and marketing. She is the Business Manager and CFO of Dreamstime.com, one of the largest stock photography companies in the world.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Noelle, thank you for answering my questions. For those who do not know Dreamstime, would you tell us a little more about the company?
Noelle Federico: Dreamstime is one of the leaders in stock photography and a major supplier of high quality digital images to the world's largest advertising agencies, national and international magazines, and film and television production companies. Today, with over 14 million images online and almost 140,000 contributors and almost 5 million users, it is one of the most popular websites in the world.
Dreamstime is one of the top stock agencies and remains the only independent agency to date. Having a very close relationship with its users (designers and contributors alike), it is perceived as the friendliest community in stock photography.
CM: Dreamstime's clients include independent customers in the private sector and Fortune 500 companies. What are currently the most popular types of pictures they buy?
NF: The business-to-business sector remains our most popular to date and these customers prefer images of classic business or lifestyle images. I have included some examples:
For individual customers the most popular trends at the moment are beauty and makeup, isolated item shots, water-related images, backgrounds for web usage and family oriented photos are very, very popular right now. I have included some examples of those as well:
Paper chainWorried coupleCoconutEyeHealthy hair
CM: Have you noticed a trend in the categories of pictures brands use for their social media strategies? How do you work with the professional photographers on your site to accommodate their needs?
NF: Brands realize that their social media photos are important because they provide a first impression to potential customers viewing social media sites, therefore brands want to use photos that communicate effective messages that are congruent with brand messaging. Brands choose photos that deliver an impact, are creative and of high quality and images that are simple yet relate to the overall brand itself.
Here are a few examples of photos that may be used by brands to communicate via social media:
- A car company might use this photo to communicate hitting the ‘open road’
- A restaurant or a market such as Whole Foods may use a photo like this to entice customers to shop
Initially, our site was aimed at amateur photographers to help them generate money for their hobby. We have almost 140,000 contributors in our community and many of these are professional photographers that make a living from the revenue they generate from Dreamstime.
Our customer service department works diligently to make sure that every contributor’s needs are met, we don’t have a ‘special’ protocol for professional photographers.
Dreamstime’s success is based on a community driven model; therefore we have the same rules for everyone. As I said previously, we have many professional photographers in our community that are making money from their photos on Dreamstime.com so I would venture to say that we must be doing something right.
CM: A majority of brands choose Facebook as the platform of choice to connect with their audiences. What role do pictures play there, especially when it comes to cover pictures on Fan Pages?
NF: Images play a major role on Facebook profiles and even more so since the Timeline format was introduced and made mandatory.
Realizing that individuals and brands would have increased need for properly licensed and attractive photos to use on the Facebook Timeline we actually created a sister site www.timelineimages.com that focuses solely on offering images that are ideal to use in Facebook Timelines. We felt that it would be important to individuals and businesses to make sure that they had quality images to represent themselves and communicate particular messages about themselves and their brands through their Timeline profiles.
Fan Page Timeline profiles especially need to be captivating because the purpose of a fan page is to generate “likes”, these are more likely to be generated if the cover photo is very strong and immediately engaging. A great photo on a Fan Page will cause people to dig in deeper with the rest of the page whereas a poor photo could cause people to leave the page without even ‘liking’ it.
I have included a few of my favorite Timeline images:
CM: What trends are you seeing taking shape on social networks within the next five or six years?
NF: Social networks are gaining strength as the traditional ways of communicating are being left behind. A social media platform makes it easier for people to communicate and receive information in a more personal way.
I think that over the next five or six years, you will see print vehicles vastly decline as delivery platforms continue to shift more into mobile devices, mobile devices that directly connect people to their social media accounts. Soon everything will revolve around social media platforms and as that happens, I believe that we will see video and sound become increasingly more important.
CM: Any last words?
NF: We are privileged to live in an ever-changing world that demands constant innovation and Dreamstime has always prided itself on its ‘disruptive’ business model.
I am confident that as social media platforms gain strength and communication channels change, we will be leading the way when it comes to microstock and quality imagery.
Thank you very much for your time.
For more information on Dreamstime, visit http://www.dreamstime.com/.