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Sculpt team members create Startup Stock Photos at SW Cedar Rapids

From non-descript collections of cables and wires to startup founders holding laptops, the Internet is full of bad business-themed stock photos. And at some point, most entrepreneurs have encountered them.

“Stock photos rank among our least favorite things ever,” Sculpt‘s Josh Krakauer told Silicon Prairie News. “But there’s almost no way around it. We do so much with photography and refuse to publish anything without a photo.”

What started as a long-running joke with fellow Sculpt team member Eric Bailey suddenly became what Krakauer calls a “super side project” through Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids earlier this month. 

“We joke about it all the time and then bought StartupStockPhotos.com on a whim three months ago because we buy a domain for everything,” Krakauer said. “We only decided to do something with it when we were surrounded by so many cool ideas at Startup Weekend a few weeks ago.”

And Startup Stock Photos was born. While only a few dozen photos currently populate the site, Krakauer says they plan to continue adding more images if users see value in it. 

“It’s fairly easy to capture what’s startup-esque—people working, coding, really nice tech and equipment, co-working spaces,” he said. “Those themes are recurring and we believe that in our own Sculpt library we have enough imagery to fill the site up for some time and be consistent.”

Eventually though, Krakauer says they plan to open up the site so that photographers can submit their own images to add to the collection.

“Hopefully we’ll recruit people who also have similar behavior and take lots of photos to comb through theirs and start to reach out,” Krakauer said. 

The pair agreed the biggest restriction for outside submissions would be holding the photos to a higher standard—while the photos don’t all have to look the same, the images need to be a certain quality to fit within what Startup Stock Photos is trying to accomplish. 

More than anything, Krakauer hopes they’ll be able to help enhance the quality of someone’s work rather than diminish it, as many stock photos tend to do.

“Please, just stop using terrible photos to showcase your great articles, stories or products,” he said. 


Credits: Photos from Startup Stock Photos

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