PIXTA Inc Interview: Through The Asian Lens Flatly

With almost eight years under their stock-image belt, PIXTA Inc and its stock-photograph platform have since developed into one of the leading photography sources in Japan and more recently, Singapore. They are here to sell Asian faces to Asia, and they are not afraid to admit that they are exceptionally good at what they are doing.

Photo Credits: PIXTA Stock

Photo Credits: PIXTA Stock

Since their 2005 debut, the company has been growing up rapidly in Japanese market. In short, they aim to reach up to USD $1 million in sales (especially for this year), 1 million in content, and establish a dedicated Asian community — all by through their micro stock agency fronts in the two busiest advertising capitals. Shining a light on Cambodia in particular, we quickly caught up with the man behind PIXTA Inc’s business model development, Yusuke Saito, business development leader, to find out just what is in store for the Khmer audience.

//

Hello Yusuke! Could we start with a short introduction on PIXTA Inc’s history and structure?

Our current platform works in two directions, with one for people to search stock images, and the other for people to create (and submit) stock images. The first is our chief business, but we really want to push the latter because it is a process that can integrate people throughout the world. Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, we want everyone to know that they can upload their photographs… because if you want to get technical about it, there is up to a 96% versus 4% difference in terms of “professionalism” present most of the time.

With such a big contrast, how did the company first set the standard and subject of stock photographs?

In our early stages, we worked with specific photographers to ensure the batch’s quality. Now we actively research to see what is in demand. For example, we track our own website’s searches to notice if a certain term is getting high demand. In response to a popular keyterm, we then gather photographers around to brainstorm about the best direction to portray the term’s notion. One of the frequent reasons for lots of searches not converting into sales is that the photographs present are not meeting the idea behind the words.

Speaking of difference in ideas, what marks the difference between regular photographs and stock photographs?

We do teach people how to shoot for the stock genre specifically because stock content has to be very generic and at the same time, authentic. Our shooting attendances (one of PIXTA Inc’s in-house services) would point out the difference in terms of ambition. Normally, a photograph captures the photographer’s personal emotions and memories. A stock photograph reverses that pattern to show an emotion/memory/action without personal attachments.

What are some of PIXTA Inc’s plans for Cambodia?

We really hope to reach out to Cambodia in terms of resources. There is a great opportunity for photographers to capture stock materials in terms of the country’s lifestyle and attractions, and turn it into an expandable venture for all of us. The world wants to know about Cambodia, and show it to more people using materials that can be easily related to events. For Singapore, we collaborated with ClubSNAP to find photographers with this line of interest, and the experience taught us that if a hobby could be used to make money, people’s interest in joining would be stronger.

Let’s wrap this up with some interesting tidbits about stock photography. What were some of the weirdest requests for stock subjects that you’ve encountered?

A common trend for Japanese clients would be portrait shots, so we are always getting face requests. Once a Japanese tourist company based in Thailand wanted a photograph that portrayed Thai people taking a selfie in Japan… it was very specific.

Thanks Yusuke!

//

Just before we ended the chat, we found out that Yusuke was also previously involved as an intern at the Kamonohashi project (Siem Reap) for five months, lending him some knowledge on Cambodia’s offerings. The Kamonohashi project is an active NGO effort to end and prevent the issue of sex trafficking involing vulnerable women and children, so do check the cause out!

Additionally, Geeks In Cambodia is also pleased to offer our readers an exclusive PIXTA Inc code to give up to $5 discount to get the stock experience rolling. For it to be applicable, you have to register with the website and ensure that it is your first purchase with them. Simply enter the discount code, PIXTAGEEKSKH (valid till 31/07/2014), before purchasing and click apply for the price changes!