Avoid overly tan models, especially those wearing floral patterns. Instead, focus on multi-ethnic babies and “scary nature.” These are just a few tips gleaned from the thousands of lessons taught at the School of Stock, an online educational initiative launched today by the online photo community PhotoShelter.
“We talk to buyers all day and we talk to photographers all day, and we hear pretty much the same thing from each side,” PhotoShelter COO Emily Hickey told us this morning. “Buyers are always saying, ‘Stock photography is dated and there’s a very thin selection in key areas.’ And from photographers, we see what they submit, and it’s obvious that they have no idea where the demand in the industry really is.” Created to bridge the gap is the School of Stock, an online guide to help photographers of all levels understand what stock photo buyers want—from lighting and captioning to specific shots such as “kids being bullies”—and how they want it.
So what are photo buyers most desperate for? “There are some key messages that apply to all of the categories, such as using diverse models,” said Hickey, who also emphasized the “insatiable demand for lifestyle photography.” The site also highlights the results of the company’s industry survey, which reveals rampant discontent among stock photo buyers. Survey respondents indicated the worst categories in stock photography, in terms of quality and breadth of available imagery, were healthcare (88%), multicultural and diversity lifestyle (86%), senior citizens lifestyle (86%), and consumer technology and products (84%). And don’t even get them started on the dearth of photos of multi-ethnic senior citizens in hospital settings playing video games. Good luck finding those!