Yuri Arcurs On the unseen art of stock photography.

Yuri Arcurs On the unseen art of stock photography.

Issue 42

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Arts & Culture

  • Words Stephanie d’Arc Taylor
  • Photograph Gustav Almestål
  • Set Design Andreas Almestål

As the self-proclaimed world’s number one stock photographer, Yuri Arcurs shoots a surprising number of photos of people looking joyfully at their laptops while dressed in business casual. But the job entails a lot more than that: His Cape Town–based team of 100 also thinks deeply about the future, and what images people will need to represent it.

STEPHANIE D’ARC TAYLOR: How did you get started as a stock photographer?

YURI ARCURS: I got started on Shutterstock in around 2005. I was a psychology student and I went about photography like an academic exercise—looking at repeat purchases, customer tendencies, and making all kinds of statistics on what made an image sell. My sales completely took off. I made $10,000 per month over the next three months just by doing that exercise. ...

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