Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Problem with Stock Photos


Seriously, this will be a short post. Well, I hope it'll be short.

My trial subscription to a stock photo site ends soon. I'm scrambling to download some free pictures to use on my blog and for upcoming teasers for future novels. But my choices are limited. I mean really limited. Picture after picture reveals I know I've either seen the half-naked male model and hunky dude before. Either on a teaser or on a book cover. Picture after picture, I know I've seen that same female model before.

What is an author to do?

How can I, a newbie with a work-in-progress novel slated for release soon, enter the promotion market with the same pictures readers have seen before? It is super frustrating. Then, there's another head-scratcher (yeah, I made up that word). At least one that affects my first novel which will feature an interracial couple.

Where are my people of color?

Where are those men and women who are not cocked up seductively or in weird poses that I  (well, not me, but my hubby who's my Creative Director) can use in trailers or on teasers?

Maybe it's not the site I should yell at; maybe it's the photographers I need to scold. I don't know who's to blame but I know for sure romance, which is the genre I write, happens to all people of various shades, sizes, and genders. I just want the photo stock sites to realize this and offer a potential client, like myself, more to choose from.

I know that some of my contemporaries have contracted photographers and models to differentiate their book covers as well as teasers. That may be the option I go with next novel because seriously right now it's looking real bleak.

Your thoughts?


  1. Bleak is the word for it Allyn. I suspect it's the photographers as much if not more than the photo stock sites that need the education. I also suspect someone will catch on eventually. Taria Reed is a photographer who seems to have gotten the memo. There will be others. Congratulations on your impending debut. I'm close to mine and for me at least these are heady times.

  2. Congratulations, Lily. I hope you're my Facebook friend so I can share your post when your book releases. Thank you for your comments as well. I've seen Taria's excellent works.

  3. Some of my author e-friends write interracial romances - you could probably check some of their covers & see where they get their photos...?? Shyla Colt is the first one who pops into mind... Granted, some of her covers are produced by Evernight Publishing, but not all... I have to admit that some of the covers I have really come to like have been what I'd term as "classy". Nikki Sex's "Karma" is a good example of that - no models, just an inanimate object, but eye-catching...

    Good Luck. Readers appreciate your efforts :) !!