Seems like most of my brochures lately have needed really specific types of people on them, in really specific settings. When that happens, one must ditch Stock Photo Annie (and her ethnic friend, Sister Diversity) in favor of picking up the digital camera and cornering one's co-workers.
Today, I was in need of a dental assisting student in her early or mid-twenties. Female. Non-Caucasian.
"Hey, Connie…" I said to a certain graphic designer on my team. Who also happens to be female. And Korean. "How photogenic are you feeling today?"
I used to think this was a delicate subject, the idea of using someone's race or gender to fill a gap in a photo. I think you lose that touchiness the first time you find yourself on a college campus running down a checklist and shouting to your partner, "We have our Asian females but we still need at least two black males 18-24. Hey, there goes one! Go get him! We have pizza, offer him pizza!"
Connie agreed to be my dental assistant, and my partner Jon and I scouted for a homey-looking office with good light. I closed the door behind them and turned to Connie. "All right, the first thing I'm going to need you to do is take off your top."
"The camera loves you," added Jon. "You are a lioness."
"You're both going to be med-surg patients in my next brochure."
It worries me, because I think Connie is promoting an obstetrics textbook.