Stock is dead, long live stock

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Not every project has the budget or timeframe to fly out to the Antartic (or even down the road to Athlone) to get a perfect shot for that flier or landing page. That’s when creative types turn to outside vendors for some help. Enter the humble stock photo.

It used to be true that most imagery of this type had a certain ‘look’. The glassy-eyed enthusiasm of the models coupled with the sheer blandness of the settings and situations have given the term ‘stock photo’ a certain lingering sense of inadequacy. I’m sure there are those reading even now that wouldn’t be caught dead with an off-the-shelf image in their work. It is an inevitable result of the business of image licencing gravitating to larger concerns who can afford to cover every conceivable scenario, but usually in a way that is as universally applicable as possible. Unfortunately, the cost of trying to please everyone is that you rarely create anything that truly inspires.

However, the rise of Creative Commons licensing, bandwidth, and a general shift in attitude has led some creatives to rethink how stock photos are produced and curated. All of which serves as an excuse to give a shout out to a favourite source of quality stock images.

Death to Stock creates image packs that are perfect for the designer who is looking for something very much in tune with current trends, but doesn’t have a huge budget to play with. Just signing up for the newsletter will get you a monthly taste of what is on offer, and the site even offers some recent premium packs for free. The ethos of the project is very much one of trying to elevate the art of stock photography with well chosen images grouped around the themes and ideas that resonate with modern creatives.

Swing by their website and keep an eye on Twitch.tv where they have recently started a weekly hangout event for those looking for inspiration in strange, but friendly, places.

All images courtesy of Death to Stock.

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