Working for a start up which is responsible for a digital product means that every now and then we need to purchase some good ole stock photography. Now, generally speaking, the words “stock photography” tend to conjure up bright, over-exposed and overly-staged images of extremely overly happy people doing extremely unexciting everyday things. I mean seriously, have you seen some of this shit? I’m not entirely sure where the hell these people are living, but it’s definitely an alternate universe full of fist pumping, awesome non-vindictive work relationships, jumping, and prozac. The titles are also rather magnificent: “Happy friendship ready for a vacation”? “Joyful business people together celebrating their success”? “Boy Clenching Fist While Showing Test Result With A+ Grade”? All absolute gold that almost, just almost rivals florida man, my friends.
Now, istockphoto has stepped up their game as of late and are finally producing “hipper” images that don’t scream “stock photo.” (Which may or may not be a good thing, seeing as most companies that use stock photos have products marketed for the masses and 36-year-old Sandra Müller* from Brandenburg who has 3 dogs and alternates between playing candy crush and sending you annoying updates on facebook requesting more lives for candy crush all day is definitely going to be a bigger fan of happy jumping people than say, a 28-year-old tattooed dude living in Mitte who alternates between drinking craft beer, brewing slow drip coffee and talking about mundane shit would be.)
However, if your user base is that 28-year-old bearded hipster, then the one thing working in your favor is that you can get away with using beautiful photography for advertising your product. Because we all know hip young millennials love photography. This is where stocksy enters the picture. Why? Because it’s one of the rare stock photo companies which is made up of high-quality imagery that doesn’t look completely staged. In fact, I often surf stocky for fun, looking to discover new photographers and find some inspiration for my own creative process. It was on one such occasion that I came across the work of Natalie Allen.
Natalie Allen is a 19-year-old photographer located in Arizona and has already been featured in Stay Wild Magazine, Urban Outfitters’ and Free People’s blogs, as well as Folk Magazine’s instagram. Her photography is absolutely beautiful, and judging by her tumblr account, which includes responses to questions from followers, is an absolute sweetheart. At such a young age and possessing so much talent already, I can only imagine where this lady’s photography is going to be in the next couple of years and really look forward to seeing her grow as an artist. Here are a few of my favorite photos from her portfolio. Enjoy.
*Made up name. Any association to a real 35-year old-women from Brandenburg who might just really have 3 dogs and play candy crush all day is purely coincidental.