Creative Connection

Improving your creative process: The end of stock photography as we know it

Tired of laboriously trawling through copious amounts of lackluster imagery?

Like it or leave it, stock photography is an essential cog in the creative process. With valuable time being spent on research rather than getting stuck in and being creative, we thought that something, surely, had to change.

Enter Adobe Stock, our stock photo service with Adobe Creative Cloud integration. With this, you can preview images inside your design, then directly license them within your Adobe Creative Cloud apps. In a couple of clicks and without closing the browser, hey presto, you’re ready to go. Workflow well and truly optimised.

We approached advertising agency Abby Priest to create a campaign about Adobe Stock targeted at enterprise customers, highlighting the benefit of an uninterrupted workflow and generating awareness within the creative community. The result: Adobe Stock Apparel, a limited edition clothing line giving a salute to the most infamous stock images creatives love to hate, such as Laughing woman eating healthy vegetable salad and Firm handshake between business associates.



To see how they went about creating the campaign and where they drew their inspiration from, we spoke with Abby Priest’s Creative Director, Oskar Hellqvist.


Reimaging the concept of Stock Photography is a big task. Where did you start?

Stock photos and the way creatives use and license them have been the same for a long time. Apart from a few exceptions, communication around stock photography usually tends to revolve around rational facts, such as the number of images and photos that are available or the quality of set images. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we wanted to find a campaign concept that highlights the fact that the world of stock photography is changing and that Adobe Stock really stands out from traditional stock suppliers. The integration in Adobe Creative Cloud apps is a major shift in workflow and, as we see it, it is the beginning of a new era. We wanted to pay tribute to what has been before and then take one last glimpse backwards before we leave it all behind and move into the new age.

How did you approach the subject of stock imagery from a fresh perspective?

Some stock images have earned their place in the history books. Classic motifs that have been overused and established as hilarious clichés, known, loved and/or hated by all. These images fulfil their purpose, surely. To me, however, they’re a representation of the old world of stock imagery. It’s time for them to retire and leave room for new classics, premium content and a smarter, more efficient way of working. Turning them into a limited edition clothing line is our way to salute them and an attempt to create something disruptive and unconventional in the genre. The creative community already shares the knowledge and power/humour that is embedded in these images. Hopefully it’s something that they will enjoy and wear.

How did you find inspiration? Did it help to think about your own use of stock photography in projects at Abby Priest?

Yes, absolutely. I use stock photos in my everyday work and I have been for years. Almost every day, I still come across some website starring one of my favourite clichés, like “Call-Centre Woman Wearing Headset” or “International Business Team Working Around Laptop”. Stock photography is usually disregarded because of our perception of it. A tiring, hour after hour, search on stock photo websites, sifting through old, quirky images from the 1990s. That’s not the case anymore. And, with Adobe Stock, most definitely not, thanks to the Creative Cloud integration.

One of the benefits of Adobe Stock is how it increases efficiency by ten times. Was this something you wanted to get across, the idea that efficiency is about to be reinvented too?

We, as creatives, will talk more and more about work efficiency in the future. We need to challenge our ways of working to meet the market demands of today. Adobe Stock is a very good example of a modern creative asset/tool where its efficient advantages are very clear and needed. So it was imperative to find a creative idea that let us communicate these advantages and USPs.

How does stock photography leave more time for creativity when you think about your own workflows at Abby Priest and client projects?

The most time consuming part of creatives’ daily work is to visualise and produce creative ideas. So every tool that could help us reduce that time is very much appreciated. And a modern stock photography service like Adobe Stock that is very fast and also fully integrated in Photoshop saves us much time and effort.

Finally, what is the future of stock photography, from your perspective as a creative?

Today, almost everyone has the power to become a content creator of some kind and the accessibility to high end photography equipment has never been better. I think we will see more, and better, visual content made easily available to us as creatives in the coming years. Modern services that start with what the users and creators need, and makes life easier for them, will have a bright future.

See the full Stock Apparel Look Book here

Discover Adobe Stock and start your 30 day free trial today


Adobe Stock, Branding, Creative Business

Join the discussion

  • By Tiffany Horan - 3:52 PM on September 14, 2016   Reply

    Hi, where can I buy those stock photo sweatshirts? Serious question.

    • By Anja Paetzold - 12:15 PM on September 16, 2016   Reply

      Hi Tiffany, Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, this fashion line is not for sale but a limited edition for selected enterprise customers. Sorry about that!
      Best regards,

  • By Kim - 7:43 PM on September 14, 2016   Reply

    I work in marketing. I need one. Also, a little sad I didn’t think of this!

  • By George Simian - 10:04 PM on September 15, 2016   Reply

    Can I actually purchase these shirts? The Look Book does not have any links.
    If this is only a promo idea…. very cool…. but not as interesting as actually wearing these shirts in public!

    • By Anja Paetzold - 12:13 PM on September 16, 2016   Reply

      Hi George, we’re glad you like our campaign! Unfortunately, the fashion line is a limited edition for selected enterprise customers only. Apologies, but we appreciate your interest.
      Best regards,

  • By klaudia - 2:41 PM on September 16, 2016   Reply

    why did adobe make it only a limited edition for the selected, why not sell them to the public?

    • By lucieheim - 5:40 PM on September 16, 2016   Reply

      Hi Klaudia, the apparel was produced as part of a marketing campaign, and is not for sale to the public.
      Best wishes,
      Adobe UK team

      • By klaudia - 7:55 AM on September 20, 2016   Reply

        yes i read that…. but WHY? whats the reason?

  • By Eskisehir Cilingir - 10:20 AM on September 26, 2017   Reply

    I work in marketing. I need one. Also, a little sad I didn’t think of this!

  • By Robbie - 8:45 PM on September 26, 2017   Reply

    I bet Adobe stocks have the best collection. Thanks

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