Getting started with any creative project is hard. When you're starting a shop, you need a brand, a storefront, and products to sell. But how do you promote those products? With great photography, right? But not everyone is an expert photographer. And that's just one of the many roadblocks that can slow a new creative business to a stop.
Death to the Stock Photo is here to change that.
An example of the quality of photography you can expect from Death to the Stock Photo.
Here’s how Death to the Stock Photo works: You sign up for their email list, and they send you 10 beautiful photos each month. For free. To use however you want (within reason). Use those photos to elevate your blog and social media posts. Let them inspire you when you go shoot your next lookbook. Or spice up your slideshow that greets customers.
They also offer a premium plan so you can get extra photos for a small fee, and the money they make goes right back to artists. They pay all their photographers, and even fund art projects - like donating a photoshoot to Welcoming America.
We wanted to get something a little special for Big Cartel’s army of artists, so we worked with Death to the Stock Photo to create a special sampler pack of photos for you. Photographer Matthew Addington shot the photo pack featuring Kashmir Thompson of Kashmir.VIII in Atlanta. You can download it here (direct download).
From the Death to the Stock Photo + Big Cartel sampler pack.
You can read our interview with Kashmir here - we also took a moment to chat with Matthew about collaborating with her, working in Atlanta, and his approach to getting interesting photos.
"It’s always exciting working with artists like Kashmir who aren’t only creating beautiful products, but allowing current social causes to be the fuel for her inspiration. Kashmir is an incredibly open and beautiful soul whose work is as vibrant as her personality.”
“Both she and I live in Atlanta: an ever-evolving city that is ground zero for amazing street art and powerful murals that depict civil rights leaders from the area.”
“Our concept was pretty straightforward. We wanted to find murals and locations that could be paired with some of her pieces and reflect her personality. Photographs are most interesting to me when my subjects are interacting with and/or accenting their surroundings. Product shots are the same. I don’t really like static images of items in front of blank walls. I like to see products used and functional.”
10 free photos to stoke your creativity, sent to you every month.
And we talked to David Sherry - he founded Death to the Stock Photo along with Allie Lehman - about how they even managed to start such a big creative project, and his tips for shooting photos that don't have a "stock photography" feel.
"I think you get over the hump by not making it such a big creative project in the start. In the early days, it was much more of a 'hmm let's see what happens if we did x.' From there it was taking each of the next little baby steps to move things forward. I don't even think we thought it would be something we did for more than a year or so. There are, of course, tons of hurdles you face along the way. Those can be great excuses if you let them be."
"For us, everything started as an email list, so it was easy to test out and we did everything manually. Then, instead of building a whole site and everything we just said, 'I wonder if people would pay something for this?' so Allie and I cobbled together a really terrible frankenstein version of a product using multiple third party tools and sites, and had people sign up through that."
"It's like building a fire, start by trying to catch the kindling before you look to light the whole thing."
Another sample of what you can expect in their photo packs.
Before your next photoshoot, write down this wisdom from David:
- Don't plan too much. Be flexible.
- If you're not having fun, quit and start again on something that is.
- Don't force a narrative.
- Imperfect is OK. (Death to the Stock Photo doesn't retouch their photos at all.)
Looking for more? Here's their photography philosophy.
We hope this free photo pack (direct download) inspires you to go out and create something, or at the very least makes some nice photography for your next blog post! Get more photos and inspiration from Death to the Stock Photo by signing up for their email list.