All Hail the Stocksy Gods

By Megan Davis · September 14, 2016

Stock photo sites have earned a bad reputation in the design community for their ridiculous poses, stark white backgrounds and often totally unusable subject matter.

Exhibit A:

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It’s easy to see why designers hate stock images.

That’s why Canadian based photographer Bruce Livingstone, founder of iStock, sold his company to Getty images and started one of the best stock photography sites: Stocksy.

Stocksy is expertly curated. They provides stunning, naturalistic photos of real people in real scenarios.

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(I seriously want to buy them all and put them up in my house.. but things might get awkward when I have to explain that I don’t know whose baby is hanging on my kitchen wall.)

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Bruce created stocksy as an answer to photographers frustrations with the stock photo industry, and how badly they were being paid for their hard work and dedication to the craft. Creating a successful stock photo, that people will actually use, is no easy feat. Stocky also has a great business model, they are an artist owned co-op, their aim is to provide a sustainable job market for photographers, while maintaining a quality product.


Stocksy has proven to have great respect for their artists through unbeatable customer service (one photographer claimed to have gotten a real life LETTER from a Stocksy employee explaining why some of his photos weren’t chosen, a letter people!) and paying their photographers what they deserve, unlike some companies who only pay 20% royalties. Said companies have also been known to excommunicate artists who speak publicly about the unfair pay.

A Stocksy photographer can count on…

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In a stock photo world filled with some really weird legal clauses and other quasi ethical actions, Stocksy is a photographers and designers refuge from the typical sites.

As Stocksy photographer Michael Zwahlen said,  

“To change the trend, it takes a strong player in the market that follows a different set of rules.”

MediaStyle believes Stocksy has done just that. They’ve changed the face of stock photography and in turn are providing a high standard product to their customers and designers.

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