Hurricane Gustav will sell stock photos

As terrible as it seems, tragedy is a great buyer of stock images. Following Katrina, there were so many sites looking for pictures, not just of the event itself, but of a generic nature.

Who would want such images?

Well if you did a Google search for Katrina you might be able to see who and why was a buyer of the images.

© Lisafx
On the right here is an image from successful photographer Lisa Young. This sort of image would do well with DIY companies and even Home Depot.

Of course images of the actual event sell, and they have deeper uses other than editorial.

You might find a lot of engineering companies who do an explanation of what went wrong, and their suggestions to fix it, or to highlight a solution they might have for other low lying flood areas around the world.

So do not imagine you are being sadistic by capturing these events. You are a story teller who has an obligation to capture things as you see them.

Photo credits: Briannolan, Fouquin Christophe, Lisa F. Young, Matthew Trommer.

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September 02, 2008


Thank you for using my image of the home in the Ninth Ward. I lost my own home in New Orleans during Katrina. I just want to make a comment regarding "being sadistic while capturing these events". That thought never entered my mind while capturing these images. The emotions you have to face while working in a disaster zone are unbelievable. It took me a few days before I could even photograph within my own home. You actually have to find a way to distance yourself from your emotions otherwise you won't be able to photograph (the emotions are overwhelming). I wanted to document the damage as an architectural photographer - no intrusion of my self on the images - pure documentation. I photographed every home in the ninth ward almost mechanically. When I stopped to speak with home owners searching for their homes I broke down with them and cried.
My advice is if you're going in thinking about profit turn around - people affected by the disaster will sense it immediately and do you serious harm. Most home owners returning to disaster areas are armed heavily ( you don't want to be going in there with the wrong attitude trust me ).

September 01, 2008


Great article David, and right on target.
Thanks for using my image to illustrate your point :)

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