Stock images challenge launched amid Sobo Squash controversial ad

By Our Reporter:

When you type the words “ Malawian Model” on google search you will only find social media pages and pictures of Malawian girls at a photoshoot . Likewise if you search for Malawian photos on google you will only find pictures of destinations and loads of villagers .

Hence, recently Castel Malawi came under fire after the company downloaded photos from the internet and photoshopped them for its Sobo Squash drink social media marketing compaign.

This sparked a debate amongst Malawians as to why corporates use stock images when we have able and capable photographers and models in Malawi?

The response is simple , its cheaper to buy from the websites.

The frenzy was enough to awaken a sleeping lion www.istock.mw, Malawi’s first and only stock images website to be officially launched in February 2021 .

Istock.com is a product and two year old innovation by a celebrated professional photographer, Lameck Luhanga who is also a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moving Minds .

The lion has roared and challenged Malawian photographers and graphic designers to redo the controversial advert with two bottles.

“The website aims to end the problems most problems content creators, editors and advertisers face when searching for pictures or videos to use in their productions. Photographers will be able to sell their pictures in Malawi and beyond.

“Users that are looking for a stock photography website that is a one stop shop for content that is relatable and relevant to the Malawian or African context should expect that from us . These users will not have to scroll through thousands of pictures as they do on other stock photography websites to find such content,” said Luhanga.

Luhanga added that the project was started in 2018 with the aim of breaking barriers in the industry.

“We begun working on this website in 2018. We created content for the website which costed us roughly around the figure K250,000 per shoot . We worked with the best Models, Photographers , make up artists and Sites,” he said.

To this effect, Luhanga has launched a competition for photographers and models, a project that will see the best being awarded.

The competition begun on December 11, 2020 and will run up to December 30, 2020.

“The winner will walk away with K250,000. It is our hope and dream that photographers will team up with a model and graphic designer because it brings the cost down” said Temwanani Luhanga , the Project Manager for the website.

She said the winner will be determined based on the likes on social media and there will also a panel of judges.

“So 20 percent will be from the social media likes while the remaining 80 percent will come from the verdict of independent judges in the creative industry. The names of the judges will be announced in due course but the organizers hinted they will work with experts in the creative industry. I believe that through this initiative, we can work hand in hand with the corporate world to create nice advertorial concepts,” she said.

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