Why is everyone the same?

You probably know that most stock images are homogeneous, and in more ways than one. Not only are they edited in that bright, high-saturation stock image style, but the people in them are most often white, attractive, young, and thin. There are usually no minorities, ages, or different body types to be seen.

Looking for an image on stock site that actually represents our diverse world can feel like playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?”

Thankfully, there are resources that recognize not everyone is a fit, young, and white woman eating a hilarious salad, or a white man with a chiseled jaw gazing triumphantly from a mountain. These stock image sites are focused on helping you find better, more diverse stock images: 

  • Stocksy: Stocksy curates its images to include diversity while highlighting fun categories like such as “Pantone Color of the Year 2017: Greenery” and “Love Wins."  When you search for an image, you can refine your search parameters not only by format and the distance of the subject in the image, but by gender, ethnicity, age, and locations (different countries). Prices vary depending on the size of the image you want to license.
  • Picnoi: Picnoi focuses on lifestyle and editorial photography, showing diverse ages, genders, and ethnicities. While the interface isn’t quite as intuitive to search, you can scroll through pages of images to select the best one for you. The photographer’s name is prominently displayed so you can easily search more of their images if you like their style. Images are free, or you can download the entire collection for $19.99. (So awesome.) 
  • CreateHER Stock: CreateHER is a grassroots movement to curate authentic stock photography featuring Black women. Their main “Stockpile Gallery” has hundreds of images based on need and requests to fill users needs for images of Black women in lifestyle shoots, blogging, and in creative businesses. CreateHER has a both a free gallery and a premium option for $7 per month.  
  • The “No Apologies” Collection: Getty Images partnered with Refinery29 to launch the “No Apologies” collection to diversify how women’s bodies are portrayed in stock images. The images highlights fashion, unique beauty, and women’s health. While the collection only focuses on millennial women, it is worth checking out as they work to make beauty standards in stock images more inclusive. Prices vary based on usage and image specifications.

As you peruse these sites, remember to keep your ideal customer in mind, since your audience wants to see themselves and their own interests in the stock images you choose. We know it can be a little more challenging, but isn't it worth helping your customer feel recognized and validated? Don't you want to feel that way, too? 

And when it comes to making your final decision on an image, review our tips in how to select the perfect one for your brand and your aesthetic.

If you have a preferred place to get diverse stock images, reply and let us know so we can feature them on our blog!