The aim of stock photography is simple: show real people doing real things. But consumers have become increasingly bothered by the fact that visual content doesn’t always reflect who we are, how we live, or what we really look like.
Traditionally, visual content involves a hyper-exaggerated way of life that sells well, but makes people increasingly uncomfortable with themselves. This is because of the unrealistic social norms this type of content seems to promote. You can’t use a photo showing only one ethnicity at a Board of Directors meeting and expect employees of other races to be motivated to work hard, because it gives them the idea that they may face an uphill task trying to reach top management. Similarly, children seeing clothing ads constantly and exclusively featuring thin models will start to believe that those body types are the norm.
In an effort to create more authentic content, we highlight the impacts of diversity and body positivity and show you how to curate your stock photography for both.
4 Impacts of Diversity and Body Positivity in Stock Photography
#1 It boosts team productivity
When you bring people of all walks of life together, the sharing of different life experiences generates great ideas and perspectives that increase productivity. As we see more positive stimuli with a diverse group of people working together, we become more inclined to collaborate with others and aim for higher goals.
#2 Diversity makes everyone worldly
More exposure to diversity means that more people are learning about other cultures and how to communicate and interact with each other more effectively. With cosmopolitan and diverse views, people become part of a global society, making it easier to effect change and make everyone happy.
#3 Body positivity boosts self-esteem
As we move away from body stereotypes, we realise that everyone is pretty much the same. This allows us to unlearn what was previously taught to us about beauty and happiness. As more people are more confident with the way they look, they’ll start to feel better and be happier.
#4 Less discrimination, more acceptance
By promoting diversity and body positivity, we are moving from social tolerance to social acceptance. As we find more things in common with others and learn to validate others’ opinions, we will truly learn how to live and thrive together without discrimination, giving life richer meaning.
What You Should Do as a Stock Photographer
- Look for people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and physiques and show them collaborating and interacting in different situations
- Move away from social stigmas; e.g. by showing more stay-home dads and working moms, more girls playing soccer and boys wearing pink
- Feature real people of different sizes and ethnicities as models
- Search for locations that show a unique side of your city that doesn’t highlight just one culture