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AP launches entertainment photo venture

Eight showbiz photogs sign on to startup Invision

The Associated Press has partnered with eight veteran entertainment photographers to launch Invision, a venture designed to allow the AP to better compete against photo agency giant Getty Images.

John Shearer, Todd Williamson, Evan Agostini, Jordan Strauss, Matt Sayles, Jon Furniss, Chris Pizzello and Casey Rodgers are Invision’s initial photogs. Dan Becker, Invision’s managing director and a former AP entertainment photo editor, expects the company to grow to 20-30 photographers by year’s end.

“Our strategy is to basically provide as much of a personalized approach as we’re able to,” Becker said.

AP currently has photo licensing division AP Images that supports the org’s editorial coverage. But while that group can sell its photos, it doesn’t have Invision’s ability to take on paid assignments.

Reuters operates a comparable service to AP Images through its Reuters Pictures website.

Most of Invision’s charter photogs are well known to bizzers through their backgrounds at Getty or WireImage, which sold to Getty in 2007. Invision pics will be available exclusively through the AP’s global subscription system and website.

As a majority owner in the new venture, AP will provide Invision with technology, marketing, administrative and sales support.

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