In February, there was a lot of buzz in the stock photo industry about needing more photos that represent “real” women. I made a post sharing 75 authentic stock photos of women from my agency, Stocksy. That was a really fun project to put together, and I’ve received a few requests to create a similar post about men.
Calling these posts “Stock Photography of Real Men/Women” is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’ve always hated campaigns that suggest certain types of people are more or less real than others (example: “real women have curves”). “Real” shouldn’t be used as a code word to allow us to judge or exclude people in different ways. Real people come in all shapes and sizes, and do all kinds of different things.
In stock photography, “real” to me just means genuine and authentic. Authentic locations, actions, and expressions. The world isn’t pretty – except when it is; and people aren’t perfectly polished – except when they are. Lifestyle photography should represent all of these ranges. But just as women haven’t always been portrayed authentically in stock photos, men are underrepresented in stock images as well. Here are 75 stock photos of men available to license from Stocksy. You can view the gallery here.