For as long as I have worked in the Photography industry, the conversation around imagery of humans has been about authenticity and diversity. Hard to believe that this is still the case with the level of sophistication in the world of visual media, the easy access to technology and most of all, the population at large, but I hear constantly from photo researchers and editors lamenting the lack of quality stock photography reflecting our society. What does it take to have choice in stock photography offerings? Images that show who we really are? All shapes and sizes, all ages, all ethnicities, all of us?
The world of fashion is evolving – consider the new archetype of a super model – Ashley Graham, a proud stunning size 16 star who disallows photoshopping of cellulite or artificial thigh slimming. She has graced the cover of just about every fashion magazine, has a new book out has her own line of lingerie, most recently interviewed with a gorgeous retro cover on New York Magazine : http://nym.ag/2utDNxG
And how about a little anti ageism? Just take a look at the work of Ari Seth Cohen and Advanced Style, who in his own words is devoted to ‘devoted to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set.” He says, “I feature people who live full creative lives. They live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”: http://www.advanced.style
Talent agencies representing truly who we are have popped up – in 2015, Cecilio Asuncion laid a marker down with a mission to develop, represent and promote transgender talent launching the much lauded Slay Model Management – http://www.slaymodels.com
We do have some players out there consistently showcasing strong work – Blend for example. https://www.blendimages.com and here on the VC blog, we try to bring to light new offerings as we find them. Speaking of which, we are waiting for August 21st and the launch of a new RF collection TONL .
They have done a good job of generating buzz – here is a recent NPR interview with founders Karen Okonkwo and Joshua Kissi: http://www.npr.org/2017/06/17/533327542/diversifying-stock-photography
Who are your go to sources for authentic and diverse imagery? Drop us a line, we welcome your input and work for the day when stock offerings show us as we are.