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Why Representation Matters in Your Portfolio
Why Representation Matters in Your Portfolio
Written by Natasha Weyant
Updated over a week ago

Impact on Earnings

In a recent survey, 72% of Storyblocks users said it was important to have access to diverse content for the projects they create. The demand from creators to bring more representation into their work is apparent, and it shows in contributor earnings.

Within footage of people, only 15% features BIPOC models (Black, Indigenous and People of Color). Yet this content earns 20% of people content earnings. As we add more BIPOC content, we expect that to grow as customer demand is high.

On a per clip basis, BIPOC people clips earn 19% more compared to non-BIPOC people clips.

Storyblocks is committed to growing BIPOC footage in our library. We have a goal of 20% of BIPOC people footage by 2022. We expect earnings, along with the size and scope of our diverse content, to grow along with this subscriber demand.

Why Subscribers Seek Diverse Footage

Advertisers, businesses and creators may seek to influence stereotypes and challenge norms. They rely on stock media to bolster their projects, and are discouraged when they cannot find content that is truly representative of today's world. At Storyblocks, we are committed to changing the face of stock footage with more diverse and inclusive content in our library to help creators continue tell their unique and authentic stories.

Our subscribers are seeking footage that will help them to gain the trust of their current and potential customers. Subscribers are seeking footage of people that will help their customers feel seen, represented and validated. They know that their customers and clients represent different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and more. Footage with natural and realistic models and environments helps subscribers to build the types of stories that generate a connection to their audiences.

Together, we can address one of the main barriers to creating fully inclusive ads and video content by curating a library of diverse and representative creative assets.

Because news outlets, businesses, filmmakers, and content creators all utilize stock media to amplify their stories, the stock media industry has a huge opportunity to impact change and set the stage for more equitable representation.

What to Shoot & Upload

Creators want authentic and beautifully shot content that has high commercial value:

  • Consider movement within the frame and by the camera conveys a more cinematic and commercial look.

  • Intimate handheld shots to capture emotions and more subtle gestures.

Examples of some visual attributes that make great content:

  • Authentic settings that are true to real life, instead of perfectly crafted sets that are spotless and new

  • Subjects or models that have natural expressions, hair/makeup that is authentic to the scene

  • Avoid any overacting

  • Authenticity examples can be found here in our Content Brand guidelines

Consider intersectional diversity within collections, which could include:

  • Models of varied ages and abilities

  • Members of the LQBTQIA+ community

Find diverse talent:

  • Leverage your own network:

    • Friends and family can make great subjects to shoot, or they may be able to refer you to more of their friends, family and colleagues.

  • Social media

    • You can find amateur or professional models, along with actors and dancers who may also be good subjects

    • Facebook groups: search ‘your city’ + model (or actor)

    • Instagram: #’Yourcity’model (or actor)

    • Check posts from other photographers and videographers in your area as they may tag the model or actor they used

  • Model websites

    • These sites may require a posting fee. You’ll want to have in mind what types of diverse models you’re seeking and include your shooting themes.

Scene Ideas:

No matter whether you film a friend or professional model, ask them about their hobbies, interests and any applicable props they may have. Here are some questions to ask models as you develop authentic scenes with them:

  • Do they enjoy cooking, playing sports or playing an instrument?

  • Do they have pets or children they are willing to feature as well?

  • Do they have a side business where they may be willing to show off their trade and interaction with customers? Such as music teacher, caterer, consultant, or something else.

When your subject is in an environment they consider comfortable and natural they will provide you with some of the most realistic expressions.

Finally, our in-demand dashboard can also help you design scene ideas. This list of keywords are highly searched, but contain few results.

On the list you'll find:

  • Places,

  • Professions,

  • Objects

  • Activities

  • And more

It's the perfect way to begin designing your next shoot, and match customer demand to what you and your models can create!

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