What was the journey to becoming co-owners of a design agency and now Austockphoto?
We met back in uni days and pretty soon after graduating we started Sydney design and branding agency: Boheem. Over the years we learned how to work effectively as a partnership and complement one another’s strengths. That was twelve years ago and Boheem is still going strong.
In 2015, Kass decided she and the family needed a break from Sydney life, and devised a harebrained plan to sell their house, buy a caravan and hit the road. This got us thinking about a new focus for Kass during her ‘break’, and the idea for Austockphoto was born. We had often lamented the lack of a fairly priced, royalty free Australian stock photo library, but had never had a moment spare to ever contemplate building one.
Where do you both live?
Claire: I live in Sydney’s Inner West with my husband and two kids. With Kass hitting the road I have taken on a greater role in keeping Boheem ticking along.
Kass: After our 10 month road trip with my partner Matt and two kids, we settled in Armidale, a country town in Northern NSW. This is where both Matt and I grew up, so we have a strong family connection to the area.
Why do you believe in an all Australian stock photography library?
We have experienced first hand the utter frustration of not being able to find beautiful, authentic Australian imagery to help brands and NGOs tell their stories. We also love the idea of ‘keeping it local’, and supporting our own artists. We are really excited to help provide a platform for access to the incredible images being captured by photographers from all over the country.
What do you hope Austockphoto will do for creative communities? For advertising? For Australian culture?
For too long, Australian businesses have been trying to connect with their audiences using stock photography taken through an un-Australian lens. And local consumers aren’t buying it. Type in ‘Australia’ as a keyword in any international stock library, and you’ll be inundated with results which, for all intents and purposes, fit the bill. But, using a stock photo taken by an off-shore photographer who doesn’t quite ‘get’ the intricacies of Australian culture is like offering a kid a Marmite sandwich and telling them it’s Vegemite: something isn’t quite right, and they know it.
With the launch and continuing growth of the Austockphoto library, local creative communities won’t have to fake it anymore. Our vision is for this site to become a true visual archive of Australia. We are claiming back the ground lost by our culture when images by cheap and cheesy international stock libraries infiltrated our billboards, magazines and digital devices. Consumers will begin to feel more and more comfortable in their own skin, and be prouder than ever to be Australian.
Are you guys sisters?
Ha! We get asked this question a lot!! We have even had people just assume that we are, and go on thinking so for years before finding out … but no. We have just spent a lot of time together and so have possibly adopted a few of one another’s mannerisms!