Stock photography and the need for stock photos isn’t slowing down any.
Larger, more common stock image websites have grown and notice that the more people use their images, the more common it is for people to see the same image used in different ways. Pair this with the needs of customers wanting more variety in the stock photos they can choose from, and we start to see stock imagery in general heading more toward high quality, artistic, and unique photographs that utilize different angles, lighting, scenery, subject matter, and style.
With more variety and options in terms of the style and design aesthetic of photographs, stock photography in general is moving more and more toward hosting images that are taken by anyone and everyone in hopes to have different types of images that can be bought and used in different ways. Larger stock image sites are turning toward curating more artistic and high quality images from other photographers to offer these different kinds of high-quality, custom-looking, and natural images to their customers.
It’s also becoming more affordable to shoot quality photos, which allows more people to photograph and upload stock photography on different stock photography sites. Camera technology has come a long way and equipment is becoming more affordable that even ameture photographers can shoot high-quality images and share those images through stock image sites.
Stock photography hasn’t eliminated the need for photoshoots altogether, however. Photoshoots still take place for different needs and for different reasons. However, instead of choosing either stock photography or custom photography, both are often blended to achieve the final result.
Photoshoots today are likely being directed using current stock photography as examples or models, and it’s likely that unused images from present-day photoshoots make their way to stock images sites as well. Not to mention, in most final pieces of work, there is often a blend of custom photography and stock photography thought pieces such as magazines and print catalogues.
While the larger stock photography websites online still have a wide selection of stock photography, in recent years more smaller stock photography websites have emerged. These smaller stock sites aim to provide stock photography based around a particular style, look, subject matter, or theme.
These smaller sites have a limited catalogue of images, but they showcase images that feel more like custom, natural, and overall more artistic photos that anyone can purchase and use. Their focus is more toward filling specific needs of stock photography with high quality photos than providing images that fit every need.
With these smaller stock photography websites becoming popular, the larger players in the stock photography industry are also finding innovative ways to disrupt the stock photography industry.
For instance, Adobe offers Adobe Stock which tightly integrates with Creative Cloud to allow access to images inside of apps such as Photoshop and Illustrato. These larger players are looking at how images are used, who’s buying the images, and how the process of finding and using stock photography can be better, and in turn helping their customers use their stock imagery better.