Inclusive Stock Photography + Best of the Web

by Grace Bonney

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to wrap things up this week with one of the beautiful images that Andrea Pippins just added to the Adobe stock imagery collection. This week’s discussion about inclusivity in design (the response to which has interestingly been happening mainly via DMs, but you can see my public response to those in my Instagram stories) has led to so many great off-shoots of that topic, one of which has been the lack of representation for people of color, people over 40, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ community in stock photography. We don’t use a lot of stock photography at Design*Sponge, but I know so many publishers, brands and companies do and I wanted to share some of what Andrea is putting out into the world, as well as links to three companies providing wonderful options for anyone looking to celebrate women of color in stock photography: CreateHerStock, ColorStock, and Nappy. Seeing ourselves and our full community reflected in imagery is so important, so if you’re looking for imagery for your next project, I hope you’ll consider pieces like the ones Andrea has posted (above, license here) and images from the companies above. Until Monday, have a great weekend and check out my favorite stories from around the web below. xo, Grace

Take A Note: A carpet made entirely of pencils? This looks super cool… if not a bit bumpy to walk on.

BLK MKT Brick & Mortar: Kiyanna and Jannah of BLK MKT Vintage (an incredible online shop selling black vintage artifacts, found items and furnishings) are raising funds to open up a brick-and-mortar shop. I’m so excited about this and hope you’ll check out their campaign and chip in if you can.

To the Cape: This Australian Cape Cabin over at Design Files is calling my name. I love the little hidden loft sleeping space.

Bangs: This discussion about bangs (and whether or not to get them) both cracks me up and makes me, again, seriously consider wanting them.

Harlequin Style: The black harlequin doors in this Scandinavian shop at Remodelista are stunning. Now I want them everywhere in our house.

To Stick or Not To Stick: Joy did a great piece on removable wallpaper for anyone thinking of going for a bold pattern, but perhaps feeling a bit nervous about the permanent aspect.

Eat Up: Want something hearty and delicious to eat this weekend? Try Tim from Lottie + Doof’s Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Lasagna.

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  • Re inclusive stock photography – YES! Seems so obvious and yet so overlooked.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  • Thanks so much for featuring these sources of inclusive stock images. May I also suggest StockyBodies.com and RepresentationMatters.me, both of which very intentionally feature images of people with larger bodies. I am loving the content you are producing these days!

  • Thank you, everyone, for these stock photography recommendations! As a designer of color, I have a love-hate relationship with stock photography that features people. When it’s good, it can be great. When it’s bad, it’s often profoundly offensive.

    What angers me most are the search results that perpetuate a lot of negative stereotypes, particularly in the larger stock photo repositories like Shutterstock and iStock. Search using the keyword “low income family,” and you’ll find a disproportionately large number of photos of Brown and Black families, often with no visual cues that signify income. Or searching “weight loss” yields some extremely negative, exaggerated portrayals of women; fuller-figured women are often portrayed as unhappy and lacking in self-control. These sites do nothing to challenge perceptions of who people are, and instead perpetuate ideas of what certain groups of people are “supposed” to look (and act) like.

    I would love to see a larger conversation (and challenge) to these companies to do better. I don’t think it’s being served by having a special “diversity” section/lightbox on a stock photo website while continuing to feature more of the photos that aren’t contributing to that.