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Northfoto is a news photo and stock image agency headquartered in Budapest, Hungary and Bucharest, Romania.

Northfoto is an aggregator and producer of editorial and creative photography, celebrity video and stock film footage in Central and Southeastern Europe. Northfoto has an online archive of approximately two and a half million images and digital assets.

Northfoto serves a large base of newspapers, magazines, web portals, television stations, book publishers, and e-media clients in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Northfoto has sales and distribution offices in Hungary, and Romania, with representative offices in Russia and Ukraine. Northfoto works in partnership with a number of international photo agencies, including Eyevine, X17, Zuma, News Corporation, BarcroftMedia, Goff, BEI, SunshinePhoto, SWNS, Xposure, Isopix, Press Association, Splash, Bildagentur-Online, F1online, and Abaca.


Northfoto was founded in 2002 by Mark Milstein.

Milstein is an American photojournalist best known for his image of Bosko Brkic and Admira Ismic, who were shot down in May 1993 as they tried to escape war-torn Sarajevo, Bosnia. The two later became known to the world as Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo. Their tragic story spawned newspaper and magazine articles, an Emmy-Award winning television documentary, a number of songs, theater plays, commentary, analysis, and even a ballet.

Milstein's larger-than-life character is hard to forget, if you've read "The Road to Kosovo: A Balkan Diary" (1999/2011) by Greg Campbell. Campbell is in awe of Milstein's experience in the combat zone, yet he is nearly scared to death - as a passenger - of the photographer's high-risk driving style.

Milstein is also recognized as a pioneer in digital photography and online media in Central and Eastern Europe; having in late 1999 founded Red Dot, former Soviet Europe's first web-based photo agency.

Milstein's efforts to first popularize and then successfully commercialize the web as a means to distribute news and stock photography in Eastern Europe played a significant role in the rapid growth of Western-style print media in the years following the collapse of Communism. Without access to readily available news and stock photography, free of government interference, regional media giants such as Ringier AG, Sanoma, Group Edipresse, and Axel Springer AG, would have faced greater difficulty in successfully setting up their operations in the newly opened markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Before the founding of Red Dot, and later Northfoto, domestic media in much of Eastern Europe had only limited access to independent news photography – like that provided by Reuters or Associated Press. Those news outlets who could afford such services, and were granted the right to lease a telephone line, (most likely coming from Vienna, Austria) were small in number.

Under Communism the vast majority of print media were forced to acquire their photos from the state, i.e., the ministry of information and their politically controlled news gathering agencies.


Northfoto has local and global competitors, such as Guliver, a leading Romanian-based news and stock image agency, Photoland, a Romanian-based stock image agency, East News, a Polish-based news and stock image agency, as well as Getty and Corbis, two of the world's leading news and stock imaging companies.

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