The great boom of the 1990′s brought us fast times and less attention to detail and substance in the world than perhaps ever before. In a special tribute, we take a critical look at the hilarity and absurdity of the idea that has become Stock Photography.
If you were one of the “lucky” ones to work through the days of the 90′s tech hype, you’ll be able to identify with the “stock photos” below on the next page, which more or less personify the additude and “aura” displayed by most business people at the time. This attitude of “just sit back in my dream remote location and do nothing while every real decision and bit of work is done by ‘someone else’ while I occasionally teleconference from my laptop in the woods or on a lone stretch of beach to ‘keep touch with the common man’” is what drove so many to failure and bust trying to emulate the success of the few Silicon startups that covered every bit of almost every magazine, TV show, and newspaper at the time.
Widespread hysteria enveloped the masses of small business owners who tried to grab their piece of the Great Silicon Gold Rush. And looking back, even as a casual observer at the time, it’s easy to see why; the unyielding barrage of media from all angles were screaming “New Economy” this and “The Dawn of the New Age” that. If you weren’t part of it all, or busy working on a strategy of integration, you were considered an “old dog” that no one had any use for. Companies went boom and bust in a matter of months or even weeks or days. It was the era of the “Power Lunch” and the “One Minute Millionaire.” There seemed to be a new “Captain of Industry” touting a new technology that was supposed to revolutionize the world about once every few days. This went on hardcore for a couple years. Admittedly, it was very difficult not to get caught up in at least some of the hype.
And this, as in all extremely bullish times, led to a watering down of society in the most extreme sense of the term. Caught up in all the hype and spin, people didn’t seem to have time for much of anything anymore. Everything from books to news to advertising blasted off from the Earth into a spacey world of vagueness by means of symbolism and pictorials…not unlike those found in childrens books.
Thus…the perversion of that which we call Stock Photography.