Authenticity & Diversity in Stock Photography – discuss.
Still highly problematic. Not helped I don’t think by the bigger stock houses using these important issues as props or brand marketing vehicles.
The reality is that the bulk of commercial stock is from a tiny percentage of people who shoot what has historically sold for a group of editors that rarely change. It’s FM radio. The disconcerting reality is what still sells.
We can only tell our own story and we did that. Both diversity & authenticity can only happen through a more total representation of the point of production. Not something that can be fixed from a cubicle & a “Visual Trend Report”
You see that more in the less evil parts of social media. The different eyes and approach to curation. It’s not unfiltered, it’s presented in brilliant ways. The tech is already probably out there that eliminates the need for the “big box” stock houses and their “SKUs”. Shopify over Big Box retail etc, sourced via social. Not sure we need mass aggregation too much longer.
The single biggest issue in “stock” right now is “how do you compensate that individual creator?” I see that as the biggest barrier. How do you open the gates & how does the cream rise & get compensated? If you are a big player or even a newbie burning through funding, stop draping & start paying. Exist for the contributor not the enterprise plan.
Any particular shoots that stand out for you?
When your approach is a bit “guerilla” there are many stories I can’t share here. Ha.
2 favorites. A memorable 2 days in Philly where we literally did 6 shoots – across the board. No greater joy than being at the point of production. The biggest thing is spending time around people you would never, ever meet. There’s a bigger lesson in that right?