Stock photography should make our list of unusual business ideas, it’s not what will come first to the minds of most budding Motherland Moguls. For Josiane Faubert though, stock photography is necessary for the African continent.
Josiane is the photographer who recently launched PICHA which provides a curated library of high-quality royalty-free African stock images. On one hand, PICHA provides a global audience with unlimited access to original content.
PICHA also provides a platform for African photographers to make money from royalty fees on images sold while retaining their copyright.
Stock photography is an unusual business idea, tell us how you came about it
I have been a photographer for many years, so I was already familiar with the stock photography industry.
As a photographer, I was regularly solicited by friends and relatives working in web/graphic design for photos of Africans doing everyday things. Then, I helped them find some photos from Africa from my own database.
However, it is when I was working as a social media manager that the idea of PICHA started to conceptualized a little more clearly as a business idea. I had a hard time buying contemporary photos of Africa/African people.
Why do you think it was necessary to create a stock photography site that specializes in Africa?
In the US and in Europe, the stock industry has been around for very long. As we are consuming more and more internet and technology in Africa, there is a growing need to find images for communication and marketing needs especially.
If you have ever looked for a photo on a huge stock image platform you’ll see that the selection for Africa is very limited. With the continent being as diverse it is, I wanted that diversity to be represented on PICHA too.
PICHA is still very young but our goal is to have photographers from very corner in Africa who submit their photos on the website.I had a hard time buying contemporary photos of Africa/African people - @JosianeFaubert Click To Tweet
As a photographer yourself, what do you see PICHA adding to the global imagery of Africa and Africans?
PICHA is a marketplace that allows photographers to sell their photos and that allow creatives to have access to these photos. Our goal is also to allow photographers to get money from their photos.
Our catalogue is fresh and contemporary, it reflects a dynamic and diverse Africa. With this diversity, we will challenge the image of Africa and Africans.PICHA reflects a dynamic and diverse Africa and challenges the images of Africa & Africans Click To Tweet
Are there any challenges unique to this business that you did not expect?
PICHA is a user-generated content platform so we need to constantly educate our community on the benefit of being a contributor. We also need to educate them on various points ranging from legal to quality.
Many photographers never request a release form when photographing someone. In our industry it is problematic!
Where do you see PICHA in the future? How do you plan to take PICHA there?
PICHA is growing and in 5 years I see it being a necessary tool for creatives in Africa.
We’d also like to have presence in West, East and South Africa. To achieve this, we are reaching out to photographers across Africa.
In your opinion, what’s the best photo you’ve taken so far?
That is a tough one. A few year ago, I used a few taxi-moto in Lome and there was this taxi-moto driver who would only dress in a suit.
He had such an amazing personality.
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