diverse stock photo collections

Most stock image collections only show a narrow slice of humanity and many of the photos don’t feel real or authentic.

Before launching this website, I staged my own photo shoot to create a photo with the same colour skin as my hands. The photo that I could clearly visualize in my head did not exist in mainstream stock photo collections.

overhead shot of my light brown hands working on my laptop. to the left there is an iphone, to the right there's a cup of tea, a notebook, a pen and airpods.

I learned about pocstock after I’d staged and shot my photo. They describe themselves as “a global stock media platform that unapologetically focuses on people of color.” I heard COO Derrick Larane on the A Leader Like Me podcast talking about who you see when you search for “leader” or “leadership”. (Spoiler alert: it’s usually white men). 

It was a delight to chat with Derrick yesterday. His face completely lit up as he described a custom shoot for a client where every single person on the set was Black. We talked about how the process impacts the product.

Cheerful Black and Asian lesbian women sitting at table using smartphone outdoors

I love this photo from their collection. The metadata and description says they I’m not sure if these two women are lovers or very, very close friends but the way the Asian woman is covering her mouth while laughing is so authentic and a detail I don’t usually see. The Her Crown curated collection is also stunning and would be great to accompany posts about The Crown Act.

Black woman with flying locs standing against brick wall

diverse stock photo resource list

In the thread where I learned about pocstock, many people in my LinkedIn community generously shared other stock image sites that represent most of us who are not usually represented: Black and brown people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, queer, trans, non-binary folks, plus size or fat people, and older people. I compiled all of them in all in a spreadsheet. Please use them and share them with your marketing and internal comms teams so that we make websites and presentations that look like the communities we’re from and also represent the communities that we serve.