The concept of stock photography is not a new one, and royalty-free images will always have a purpose in the commercial and editorial space. While they provide an easy way to illustrate a multitude of topics, when it comes to more taboo subjects, stock photography can fall a little short. “Sexual subjects are difficult to approach with images,” says Mikael Cho, co-founder and CEO of stock image library Unsplash. “If you do a Google search, your options are often a medical diagram or porn. The lack of quality, usable imagery around sexual subjects doesn’t make people stop talking about them. It only makes these subjects harder to talk about.”
Cho believes that just because something is considered taboo, doesn’t mean it should be suppressed from creative expression, and so in 2018 he set up Unporn, a collection of free-to-use images “to make it easier to communicate taboo subjects”.