25 Sep 2015 StockPotImages – Specialising in Marijuana Imagery

Launched in April this year, StockPotImages is a new stock photo agency focused on images related to cannabis consumption.

Founder Ophelia Chong says that the legal market for cannabis in the US is expanding and there’s growing demand for realistic, non-stereotyped and ‘authentic’ stock imagery showing marijuana consumers.

The Niche

This is not the first attempt to better represent marijuana consuming activities. Around the same time of this agency’s launch, the non-profit organization DPA (Drug Policy Alliance) released a collection of free editorial-only stock photos and footage depicting realistic scenes with marijuana users, intended for media publishers to use them in a more precise representation of these activity.

Nor is StockPot the only specialised agency that has surged lately, under the same premise of bringing up more authentic imagery on a very narrow topic.

With technology becoming so much easier, it’s much more viable for small, niche agencies to exist.

The Agency

Since Chong has been in the photography and media industry for long and spent several years teaching photography, she reached out to her contacts to supply images and build a catalog.

The quality of the photos varies, with a few good images standing out amongst an otherwise weak collection. The metadata also needs some serious attention.

Chong is also aware that the low availability of useful, licensable photos in this niche increases the quantity of copyright violations, and is licensing images exclusively Rights Managed for this reason.  While this makes them more difficult to license, especially for the uninitiated photo buyer, it does make it possible to manage and enforce usage.

As far as niches go, StockPotImages is a worthy one given the recent legalisation in some US states, and a clear lack of appropriate imagery in mainstream stock agencies.  It will be interesting to see whether they can succeed, which will require outpacing the mainstream stock agencies which are intimately aware of gaps in their collection for these kinds of niche topics.

  • ophelia chong
    Posted at 01:22h, 19 May Reply

    Hello Lee,
    I just found this post. Thank you for the supportive and honest post. Stock Pot Images is now past it’s first anniversary, and we are now 150 contributors strong with over 11k in images. I started Stock Pot Images by myself and only in the last month brought on a salesperson, Luis Orellana (20+ years in stock, starting with Tony Stone). We are already in the top four agencies with cannabis, the difference being Stock Pot is exclusive and the other agencies are 3rd party distributors (some carrying the same collection).
    Last week I had one client license over 700 images for a mobile app, he came to us because we have the largest and most comprehensive collection of strains. What I have over the larger agencies is that I am embedded in the cannabis industry, I have access to all levels of cannabis, from seed to consumer, and I am a trusted cannabis insider. We are adding drone and plane video in the next week, plus we have signed icons in the industry. Since I am alone, I know there are “holes” that I need to fill, one of them being better at the metadata. I have both pro and amateurs on board, and I have to keyword most of the images and deal with over enthusiastic photographers that like to keyword images with tags that have nothing to do with the image. I am on course in correcting those images and helping teach the contributors how to keyword. My greatest moments are when I hand a check over to a Vet with PTSD, who has found an outlet in photography to the moment I make a sale for a new photographer.

    thank you so much for this and I would love to connect with you to get more of your knowledge,

    All the best
    ophelia chong / ophelia@stockpotimages.com

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