What is one of the biggest, most important subjects in current events today?  Energy.  Making it, buying it and saving it.  And that topic, energy, is getting hotter and hotter, as the world observes the nuclear crisis in Japan and wonders about safe and sustainable energy sources for the future.

So, what is the reflection from the stock photography world on this subject?  How do stock photographers handle this subject in their imagery or as Enrique Algarra said, “express their ideas to the world with their images?”  Take a look below.  Search “saving energy” on stock photography websites and you will find these kind of images on the first page of results.  I know because I did.  Seriously, is this the best that stock photographers can do to discuss a matter as globally important and potentially commercial as saving energy?!

Is this the best that stock photographers can do?

I think that the stock photography and video community can do better than this.  And I know that advertisers are looking for better than this.  Take Carrefour, an important European supermarket chain, who sent this 2011 New Year’s greeting for Spanish clients.  Their emailer announces “Making 2011 a better year depends on the little things.”  The emailer and video (below) show a series of clips and still images of actions that save energy.  Where were these simple, elegant clips and images when I searched saving energy?  I am sure that we have images that are just as good, and even better, from photographers and providers, but they are buried by a vast majority that are trite and show no originality.



So here’s a challenge.  Think about energy.  Think about saving it and making it.  And create some worthwhile images about what you think.  And if you are ready to start with video, let yourself be inspired by the clips in this ad, and take on the same challenge.

Actions: E-mail | Comments (14) |


March 18. 2011 17:05
You are right when you say that most "saving energy" images are really cheasy.

This is a fault of the stock agencies as well. There is no shortage of great images of everyday items that can be used to save energy (as shown in the video clip), but as soon as a photographer tags such an image with "saving" or "money" or the like, he gets notified or even punished for "keyword spamming", because no money is shown in the image.

Which leads to the cheesy images, where a happy girl holds a power plug and a piggy bank (I've done them many times too, sold them as well).

United States alfonso
March 18. 2011 22:42
Soon stock agencies will be guilty for the next tsunami too... it is becoming the norm to point the finger to stock agencies for almost everything including of selling images at ten cents a piece. I wonder who notifies/punish the photographer when includes "saving" or "money" on a cheesy image that does not show bank notes on it, we certainly not. But in fact we are not talking about the kewyords an image can or can´t contain, we are talking on how innovative, different and conceptual one image should be and while you say that there is no shortage of "great images" about energy, the cruel reality says the contrary, that finding great, modern, different, conceptual, innovative imagery is becoming really difficult. Just search around and compare the number of images seen to the time it took you to find the first modern, different, conceptual, innovative image that we are talking about here. You´ll be shocked.  

March 21. 2011 18:38
Robert does make a good point though.  A photographer should remember to include the relevant conceptual keywords to their images if they want them to be found and considered by advertising clients.  We have a list of 99 such keywords here www.agefotostock.com/phroad/ingles/phroad06j.asp.

March 22. 2011 10:14
@Anna: Your link doesn't seem to work.

April 5. 2011 13:52

May 3. 2011 08:15
Interesting.  These examples are so bad, I'm going to take the challenge and see what I can come up with.  Can't do much worse than those!!!  Wink

May 9. 2011 10:53
Hi Thom, That´s great!  Taking a quick look at your website, I´d say that you´re already off to a better start on the green/energy themes.  Let me know if you feel successful in the challenge... maybe we could show the results on the blog.

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