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Creating Diversity in Stock Photography

Lesson 5 of 6

Editing & Post in Stock Photography

Joshua Kissi

Creating Diversity in Stock Photography

Joshua Kissi

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Lesson Info

5. Editing & Post in Stock Photography


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:03:40
3 Diversity in Who You Love Duration:04:09
6 Q&A Duration:21:59

Lesson Info

Editing & Post in Stock Photography

So I kinda wanna move into like, from being a photographer, shooting editorial, shooting very like, niche, like cool stuff, to like moving in stock photography. Like, how did that effect my mindset, my editing process, my whole, like how I, 'cause I see commercial imagery as like, warm, happy, bright, and a lot of my images are dark, so it was hard for me to kind of find that in between. And so I just kinda like walk through. These are the same image of the same kid, basically, but edited three different ways. The one on the left is more so like, what I'm known for. The one in the middle is like, depending on the client you wanna show, like okay, this is the work I could potentially do, so it's another kind of variation of it, and the one on the right over there is just another variation of it. But I really wanted to show like, through different editing techniques, you could tell a story. It could feel more moodier, it could feel more, a little bit warmer, so it's really interesting ho...

w, once you have the same image, you could tell a lot of same stories through this image, so it's really, really interesting. This is another image I took, and this, again, is more of my editing style, more dark, toned down, mute. Then in the middle you have more of what we shoot with in TONL, which is bright, commercial-ish. And to be able to hit that balance, because when we first started, people were like, okay, is this gonna be geared towards these niche brands and like, cool stuff? Is it gonna be actually applicable to a bigger company or a bigger agency? So it was really a challenge to kind of find, as a photographer, to find that like in between line that'll be advising other photographers to capture from. So it was a really, really interesting process, 'cause as long as you have what makes you, you when it comes to photography, it's really very important to stand by that when you're taking stock photography, even though, to me, stock photography is images that are selling or being licensed. But you shouldn't lose your creative touch or what inspires you while you're shooting it. So this is another step, which just says America's identity is changing. By 2020, more than half Americans under 18 will be minorities, more whites will be aging than will be born. The gamer changer? By 2040, Caucasian will be the minority. It's not good news or anything, I'm just like, not here to celebrate that, but what I am here to say is just like, the world is gonna look very much different. The nation will look very much different, and that's okay. Like, and that's totally fine that, I know sometimes these talks come off a certain way, but for me it's to be able to be like, hey, the world has changed in a beautiful way, let's continue to capture that. The world has been documented a previous way for the past 400 years, let's change that. Like I don't think anybody wants to keep that going, and it shows within our political environment and society, as we all know, I don't have to go into that. But pretty much, as photographers, as image-makers, there's a opportunity for us to tell the truth through our lens, and with TONL and my personal work for the past 10 years, I've been able to do that, which I'm really, really grateful for. But when I first got into it, from New York City, I'm just shooting people who were around me. Shooting my friends, shooting my family. So it wasn't a diversity thing to me in my head. It was just me living life. But as we know, it's been coined, and it makes sense as to why it's coined because it's important for people to understand at all aspects.

Class Description

It’s important to have diversity in all aspects of our lives, and that includes stock photography. Those photos are used everywhere—from banner ads to websites to billboards—so it’s critical that they truly represent our diverse society. Joshua Kissi, photographer and co-founder of the TONL Agency, which specializes in culturally diverse imagery, will help you make your photos more inclusive and depict people of all walks of life.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Pose your subjects in unique ways.
  • Use different types of lighting, including studio and natural.
  • Evoke the expression you want from your subjects.

Stock photos don’t have to look the same. In fact, they shouldn’t! Learn how to add diversity and culture to your images so you can succeed in this burgeoning field.



This class is great for thinking about diversity in people for the subjects of photos. I would like to see the instructor come back to teach a class on lighting or editing people with various shades of skin color -- one of the questions asked in the video. I'm interested to see his methods.