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.
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.
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.