I actually think about stock photography a little bit too much. Who do photographers look to cast, and why? What tone and feel do they ask each subject to strike, in hopes that it creates a stock image so appealing that it will resonate broadly with an unknown audience?
Stock photos everywhere build on stereotypes, especially those of gender. We see “traditional” roles tied to emotions, stature, clothing, race, and status symbols that don’t strike us as surprising, because it’s how we “normally” picture representations of circumstance. But, these boxes are false, because the false feels safe and comforting in a way. These photos represent certain stock image “risks” that we can only hope become mainstream and equally boring in the future.