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An Interview with Chris Ferrone


Chris Ferrone Chris Ferrone, Managing Partner of Matton Images LLC, a complete royalty free resource, has worked in the stock photo industry since 1987. He has served as Vice President of Index Stock Imagery's International Sales Division as well as managedtheir domestic sales office in Los Angeles. Chris is also President of Retrofile.com which licenses rights-managed and royalty free vintagestockimagery world-wide through a variety of agents and other distribution channels. He is also currently thePresident of the North Americanstock photo industry trade association, the Picture ArchiveCouncil of America.







Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and Matton.

Chris: Matton is a one-stop shop for creatives in need of royalty free artwork.

The whole idea behind Matton.com - how we designed the site, how we market our products and service, how we approach our clients - is " simplicity."

We want to make the art director's life easier. We have accomplished this by making the widest variety of high-quality royalty free photos, illustrations, footage, clipart, graphics, maps and music available on an easy-to-use search engine. Our website has a no-frills design and a no-nonsense functionality that let art-directors and designers locate the creative elements they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a veteran of the stock photo industry - I started selling stock images in 1987 - I have always tried to focus on the what the client wants. It seems obvious enough, but it's amazing how many people get it wrong. The client isn't interested in all the bells and whistles a website has to offer. In fact, too many options and too many flashing promos are a distraction from their simple need to find the right image or element for their project.

Matton.com reflects my personal belief that a good product, when seen by the buyer, will sell itself. We have great products. Our job is to let the buyers see them in the most convenient way possible (for the client.) Our web-site accomplishes that in a simple way that our clients find refreshing.


Geetesh: Could you tell us more about "royalty free" and use of clip media content in PowerPoint.

Chris: Used properly, images can make a PowerPoint presentation come alive for the audience in a way that's nearly impossible to achieve with text alone.

From a cost perspective, royalty free artwork makes the most sense for use in PowerPoint. From a practical perspective, one can find a royalty free image to illustrate just about any "point" one needs to make. Royalty free and PowerPoint were made for each other.


Geetesh: Most of the royalty free photography content that Matton provides is high resolution and somewhat more expensive than what people would pay for just using in a PowerPoint slide. What are your thoughts?

Chris: In fact, the photography on Matton.com comes not only in high resolution files, but in medium and low resolution files as well which are priced accordingly.

For the quality of imagery available on Matton.com, the prices for the low res. versions of the images are more than fair for PowerPoint usage. Creatives recognize these images are the work of their fellow creatives - photographers and illustrators. Clients wishing to present themselves in a professional manner, are willing to pay the appropriate fees for professional quality imagery. For truly low-budget projects, we have CDs with hundreds of royalty free pictures at extremely reasonable prices.


Geetesh: How significant is the use of visuals in presentations.

Chris: To repeat my earlier comment, used properly, images can make a PowerPoint presentation come alive for the audience in a way that's nearly impossible to achieve with text alone. Background images will bring text and numbers to life.

For example, show a slide with a chart about the aging of the baby-boomer generation and everyone will see the numbers and the trend shown by the chart. Follow that chart with a great photo of a baby-boomer couple enjoying a drive in their convertible car and your chart then relates to reality for the audience and the message behind the chart is that much stronger. You can apply this concept to just about any point one might want to make in a live presentation. The significance of visuals can not be overstated.


Geetesh: Can you share some trivia about an unconventional use of royalty free or just something interesting.

Chris: No odd examples of royalty free image use come immediately to mind. I do know of a great "book" about PowerPoint written by a gentleman named Seth Godin that might interest readers of this interview. It's titled "Really Bad PowerPoint (and how to avoid it)". I put "book" in quotation marks because it's only available as a virtual publication which one can purchase and download directly from Amazon.com. It's quite inexpensive - US$1.99 - and well worth the two bucks for any regular user of PowerPoint.



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