AP Launches New Entertainment Agency to Challenge Getty

©Matt Sayles/Invision--Pop star Katy Perry

The Associated Press and a group of veteran entertainment photographers have launched Invision, a new photo agency based in Los Angeles. The agency will cover entertainment and red carpet events, as well as take on assignments for consumer brands, film and TV studios, and PR agencies.

Invision’s goal is to take on the dominant player in the celebrity photo business: Getty Images, which has owned entertainment agency Wireimage since 2007.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people I’ve worked with that they weren’t happy with one choice. They wanted another option,” says Invision managing director Dan Becker.

Becker, who was formerly director of commercial content and services for AP Images, says Invision will operate as a separate company from AP. The wire service is the majority owner, and will provide distribution for Invision.

So far, Invision has just one staff photographer–Chris Pizzello. Other contractors and freelancers include Matt Sayles, Evan Agostini, Jordan Strauss, Todd Williamson, John Shearer, Jon Furniss and Casey Rodgers.

Becker says there will be opportunities for other photographers, too. “We will use AP’s freelance network, but we intend to recruit other photographers and grow our own freelance network,” he says. “It’s a big part of our mission.”

Becker says he relies primarily on word-of-mouth recommendations from photographers he’s currently working with to identify new talent. “We will try people out with entry level assignments,” he says.

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