On average, it takes four to six hours for a designer or art director to find the right photo. Designers know what a painful and costly four hours that can be.
This is because of the noticeable gap between what big traditional stock agencies offer and what creative professionals need when searching for people images.
#1 Creative professionals are largely uninvolved in the process
The big traditional stock agencies rely on photographers for the content of images they offer. They employ teams of curators to edit their collections. They crunch numbers and analyze sales data to drive content. Yes, art director and designers—the end users—are seldom involved in the creative process. Photographers are of course artists, but naturally they are trained differently than art directors and designers. They frame their subjects to be well cropped and often add a soft depth of field for a pleasing effect. Unfortunately, it’s those exact effects that make it hard for an art director or designer to use the image. Stock photography should be versatile. Photos should work for a variety of purposes, and flexibility is of paramount importance.
If you’ve ever labored to make a cropped image work in a web banner that is 2,000 pixels wide, then you know the pain we are talking about.
Getting a designer, art director, or creative director involved in the image making process is an important step in creating images that are easy to work with.
#2 Cut the crop
Images that are shot with big (and I mean big) canvases adapt easily for web banners or ad spaces. Designers can crop them at will. Every designer we know hates rebuilding a cropped head or shoulder. It’s time consuming, and it isn’t easy to do. It is far better to have the subject fully visible in the frame so that it’s easy to extend the background and position the model.
#3 Go easy on the soft depth of field
A bokeh effect, or soft depth of field, is very artistic. It is a wonderful technique to photograph a kitten’s softness or to capture your barista’s leaf design on top of your latte to snapchat with friends.
When it comes to people images, however, it is very difficult to clip or mask a subject with soft edges from the background. Difficult, like eating-a-bucket-of-hair difficult.
Big traditional stock agencies see their photos as “finished” products, and they neglect to consider how much labor it will take to make their photo work for your project. After all, they’ve given you a nicely cropped image with an artistically focused subject. Clipping it out is your problem. Again, stock imagery must be flexible. A talented designer will likely have spent an obscene amount of money on their education. They can be trusted to be able to add their own depth of field after trimming out an image.
#4 Take us to the hardware store
Let’s be honest – the big traditional stock agencies are not artists. They are hoarders. If you asked to borrow a screwdriver, they would give you the keys to a junkyard and tell you they’re sure they have a nice one in there somewhere.
It’s understandable, really. Stock collections are just that – collections of photos from many different sources over an extended period of time that are difficult to catalogue. Quality differs. Angles of perspective differ. Lighting is inconsistent, and clothing styles vary. The cameras and lenses used change from photographer to photographer. Resolutions differ. Expressions? Don’t get us started.
Imagine a designer working with a deadline. It’s nearing 5:00 p.m., and it’s looking like it will be another long night. The task? Find three people images that will work together to make three web banners. They need to be consistently lit from the same angle, they need to be clipped from their backgrounds to fit into one, and they need to look like they belong together. The search will be exhausting, but designers have come to expect that. The real pain comes from creative compromise.
Designers are artists, and they want to make something amazing. In the end, they often have to settle. The search and subsequent work just takes too long. Producing work that is “good enough” is a tough pill for any designer to swallow.
This week, we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Foto Sushi, the brainchild of seasoned creative director, Jon Anderson, and his team of designers and photographers — a restless group of professionals who are uncompromising in their art and demand for quality.
The rapidly growing library of images are carefully curated for usability, negative space, lighting, and conceptual aesthetic and now available in the ImageBrief Global Marketplace.
High quality images with no flat lighting:
Easy clipping paths and no annoying crops:
Cultural and gender diversity:
Imagery to really bring life and humanity to any advertising campaign, annual report, brochure or story.
Check out some of the gorgeous people collections on ImageBrief now including Business, Men, Women and Youth. All images from the amazing Foto Sushi collection on ImageBrief are available for your campaign now for either $50 (2,800px @ 72 DPI) or $100 (Large format).
Exclusions: images cannot be licensed for alcohol, tobacco, pornographic, defamatory, libelous, or otherwise illegal use.
For marketplace submission inquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For sales inquiries email: email@example.com
Need something specific and short on time? Launch a brief and we’ll find it for you.