When we founded PhotoShelter in 2005, we did so with a commitment to use technology, and specifically the internet, to help photographers achieve success. We built a powerful online photo archive with a robust set of features to help photographers display, sell and deliver their images to clients in hundreds of ways.
In some respects, innovation came easy early on. We listened to pro photographers of all specialties, understood the challenges they faced as the industry changed around them, and from there our developers worked around the clock to build solutions to their problems. This approach to rapid feature creation helped us amass an incredibly loyal base of photographers who have been with us from the start. They grasped the merits of maintaining an online image archive before anyone else, and have been our partners both in driving improvements to our service and in spreading the word to help grow our business. I’m really proud of the way we’ve evolved the PhotoShelter service, our role in the photography community, and the way we’ve been able to innovate in support of our original mission.
We’ve created a service that thousands of photographers rely on daily for their websites and to solve major business problems – attracting clients, managing photos, generating sales, and getting images to clients in a hurry. We’ve also built a team that cares about photographers, and puts a tremendous amount of pride into being helpful. It isn’t easy to be an independent photographer today, but we like to think our efforts in sum have helped make the job just a little easier and more profitable. And while our technical innovation has helped thousands, our educational efforts have helped hundreds of thousands face the changing photography industry and adapt to use web marketing techniques to create new, sustainable businesses. Our opportunity to keep growing will always be a product of our ability to keep innovating, and also to do so in a way that is highly respectful of our core user base and the variety of ways they rely on the product.
My personal pride in what PhotoShelter has become in the seven years under my leadership is only surpassed by my desire to see PhotoShelter become something even greater. So, how does a more mature PhotoShelter continue to innovate to help photographers stay ahead? We keep listening, and we adapt to change.
So, today I’m stepping aside as CEO to become the Chairman of the Board. This move will enable me to focus on our strategic vision, travel to more speaking engagements, and talk with more of you. I’m going to fill up my schedule with as many opportunities as possible to keep listening, and I’m starting with a trip to London in May at CEPIC and a cool evening with Blurb, the Flash Forward Festival and the Creative Freelancers Conference in Boston, and of course, don’t forget our awesome conference, Luminance, this fall.
I’m also very happy to say that we’ve named Andrew Fingerman, our VP of Marketing for the last 4.5 years, as the new CEO of PhotoShelter. Although Andrew came to us from the corporate trenches of American Express, he has entrepreneurism in his blood and a love for helping small businesses grow. More importantly, he is passionate about the photo industry and the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our customers while continuing to build a better product. Andrew is a familiar face to many (that’s him on our Twitter avatar). Over the years, Andrew conceived and oversaw the development of PhotoShelter’s library of 20+ free photography business guides, our very popular webinar series, and has strengthened our relationships with the major photography industry associations like ASMP, NPPA, APA, and PPA. Behind the scenes, he’s been responsible for the evolution of the PhotoShelter brand and the strong, continuous growth of our customer base. He has an uncanny knack for remembering specific PhotoShelter photographers, their best work, and even the specific PhotoShelter features they’re using to make their websites stand out. There isn’t a stronger advocate for the PhotoShelter customer experience, and there isn’t a more responsible steward to guide the evolution of PhotoShelter’s service as we dig even deeper into the community and continue to solve problems for photographers. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from Andrew very soon.
This is the new golden age of photography. We’re excited to have Andrew lead us through it, and glad to have you aboard for the journey.