Jack Hollingsworth is a top commercial image producer and “content creation partner.” What does it mean to be a content creation partner compared to a stock photographer?
– a higher volume
– higher value
– faster, smarter, cheaper time-to-market
– one-stop-shop performance
– completely staffed (including pre-production, production, and post-production services)
Jack works out of four worldwide offices and has a track record of success in the stock sales arena. He is no longer considered to be a contributing photographer for royalties, or even a full production company which feeds a chain of distributors. His success to date provides him with a 7,500 square foot studio headquartered in Austin, Texas. From that Southwestern cornerstone emanates a global media company that draws Jack and his creative staff to locations all over the world.
The New Business Model
What does this mean in today’s corporate business atmosphere of publicly owned companies, lightning speed technology changes, and powerful new international markets? Jack outlines his business model as follows:
“Think globally and shoot internationally.”
“Control internal creative intelligence.”
“Brand major collections.”
“Talk to customers.”
“Invite comparison and foster speed to market.”
“Have total creative control over shoot briefs, visual style and editing.”
JackHollingsworth.com’s portfolio encompasses traditional royalty free (RF) and rights managed (RM) imagery, along with attacking the new wholly owned model with a vengeance. “Jack and company” don’t work FOR agencies; they work WITH them to produce the imagery that fully fits today’s market needs.
In addition to that, he creates growth equity by owning and marketing his own labels, which presage the ad content of the future, and offer lucrative niches into a growing industry segment. Recently launched, but already popular, are his Photosindia.net and Redchopsticks.com. These additions to the Hollingsworth network are located in New Delhi and Singapore. These bring Indian and Asian lifestyle collections to a market that commands double digit annual growth and modern economic boom in ethnic areas of the globe. Also, launching now is 40260.com (40 to 60), highlighting the lifestyle of a growing population enjoying the most disposable income. All of these brands are creative and beautifully conceived, employing the top notch digital techniques and the broad rights of RF production.
A Day in the Life
A day of shooting with Jack and crew at his resort-like Cape Cod studio further affirms his almost frenetic commitment to content creation – at all levels, all ages, all different ethnicities, and across all distribution models. Jack was born on Cape Cod and passionately returns to that familiar territory every summer to renew his senses, enjoy life, and produce more dynamic imagery. The crew includes his wife and two daughters, 9 and 5, who act as creative directors and spiritual promoters. Then come the stylist, producer, asset manager, casting director and camera assistant.
That day’s production was at an elegant Chatham resort, and probably the Cape’s most beautiful ocean setting. Preproduction to secure the location was completed before summer even started, and the day’s models were enjoying the beach, the dining and the pool, all with the markets of BlendImages.com in mind. Jack is a partner in that company, which acts as a distribution portal for his content featuring multi-ethnic lifestyle.
As for workflow, Jack says, “I have a love/hate relationship with story boards. I am at the point where I am responsible for my own shot list. I’ve tried to delegate that process, but it’s really difficult, as I can’t find someone who thinks like me with my design sense.”
While shooting he works with Canon Mark II digital equipment and moves at lightning speed, never struggling too intensely over one shot or location. “The location, the talent and the wardrobe inspires me, and it doesn’t come to me until I’m right there on the spot.” Constantly swapping out people, clothing and locations, they take more than the normal number of breaks that day due to heat. His goal is to walk away with 200 tightly edited shots out of a possible 2,000 captured. Jack says that 80 percent of his Latino content is with Blend Images and half of that is produced outside of the borders of the U.S.
Jack shoots with Canon EOS Mark II (16mp) and a full complement of Canon lenses. His favorites are: 50/1.4, 80/1.8, 135/2.0, 200/2.8, 45+/5. He also uses Elinchrom Ranger kits and a Bogen tripod with a Cambo ball head. For post production he uses Macintosh G5’s and Iview Pro editing software.
What’s next for Jack? In 2007, Hollingsworth and company will be on location shooting contemporary, indigenous lifestyles on four continents — in Mexico, Japan, Eastern Europe, and South Africa. These month-long self-funded foreign content shoots will produce four collections of more than 5,000 images apiece.
“We have shoots that bomb and contracts that bomb, but most of it’s very positive,” he says. “It’s about working with people you like and trust. My business is strategic not tactical, and I’m having more fun at it every day. You will never get me to be regimented. My vision, mission, and passion is to propagate the stock genre of ‘World Photography,’ and to create marketable content faster, cheaper and smarter than the next guy.”