Friday Photo: Preferred Stock

Images of real people from the Citizen Stock library.

A new stock photography agency is seizing upon the world’s growing disenchantment with airbrushed-to-perfection ads and steady appetite for reality television. Meet Citizen Stock, a growing library of rights-managed photography that is free of suspiciously attractive professional models. Husband-and-wife team David Katzenstein and Sherrie Nickol, both commercial photographers, founded the company to build a library of images featuring real people, from chefs and jugglers to toothless tots and individuals captured mid-sneeze (Warhol would approve!). “We noticed through extensive research that there was a need for high-caliber imagery that also had a more real-life sensibility,” said Katzenstein, who has marshalled people of all shapes, sizes, and colors into his Manhattan photo studio and posed them against a pure white background. “Our favorite images usually have a great story connected to them,” he told us. “In general, the people we photograph are fascinating, and our goal is to bring out their true character.”