The World’s Local Heroes


The ‘Local Hero’ brief we put out last year has resulted in some great, saleable, truthful imagery. The brief was designed to inspire photographers to shoot a diverse range of small businesses local to them, celebrating the differences between cities, countries, cultures, ethnicities, dress and locations.

For instance, an image of a street food seller in New York City is going to look and feel very different to one in Marrakech or Stockholm.

In stock photography, evidence of individuality is increasingly sought after by picture buyers.

They also want elements of imperfection in the images they choose; we’re human after all – and in response to the world becoming more digitised and homogenised, we’ve seen a rise in hand-made, artisanal and characterful businesses and products.

Image buyers are reacting against obviously posed images and inauthentic smiles and ads and marketing that whiffs of being too corporate is failing to connect with consumers in any meaningful way these days.

Imagery that looks and feels as though it were shot on film, with a photojournalistic eye is increasingly popular with image buyers; as is the influence of the spontaneity in imagery on social media platforms like Instagram.

We absorbed all these elements into the shoot briefs and in the art direction we gave our photographers. Image Source is one of the few image libraries that still provides this level of creative collaboration with photographers.


Photographer Credits: Stanton J Stephens; Elke Meitzel; Sue Barr; Paige Green Photography; Alys Tomlinson; heshphoto; Eugenio Marongiu


About Author

Ashley Jouhar is the Creative Director of Image Source. He has worked as a senior creative in the photography industry for over 12 years, previously as Deputy Director of Photography at Getty Images. He is also a photographer in his own right, shooting lifestyle, documentary and portraiture for a wide range of clients. Before turning to photography full time, Ashley worked as a senior Art Director and Group Head at McCann Erickson, London, creating award winning advertising for Bacardi, Shredded Wheat, Black & Decker, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Birds Eye, amongst others.

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