By: Stocksy

Creativity & teamwork with Clique Images

In this month’s Contributor Interview, we speak with Clique Images, who give us unique insight into how their team works together to create content representing a wide range of topics and a spectrum of wonderful people.

CLIQUE IMAGES

We’re always curious to learn more about people and their creative processes. Can you shed some light on how your process as a team works from ideation to creation and delivery?

We’re all about teamwork here. Every week, we have these epic brainstorming sessions where we shut out the outside world (it’s crucial to eliminate any interruptions – yes, even from your spouse!). We dive into idea generation and map out every detail of our upcoming shoots. Before these meetings, each team member does a bit of trend research or indulges in their favorite hobbies to get those creative juices flowing.

When it comes to post-production work and upload of the finished material onto stock agencies, everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows their role and responsibilities, and gives their best not to let the team down and to make the project shine.

As a full-service team, what do you feel are some of the benefits of having your team do everything in-house?

The biggest perk is that our shoots are one-of-a-kind. Our team is tight-knit and passionate, treating each project like it’s their baby. We believe clients can feel the love and attention we pour into every video we create, every photo we retouch.

Your portfolio features an inspiring range of models, and we noticed that you do in-house casting. We’d love to learn more about your process of deciding what to look for and how to pick talent for your sessions.

We’ve built our model database over the years. Some models are practically family to us, as we work with them regularly. But we’re always on the hunt for fresh, intriguing faces for our projects. Often we find new talent through friends or our existing network of models. We also love to scout people right off the street, inviting them to castings on the spot. It’s a method that works wonders!

Once you have selected your talent, how do you ensure everyone is aligned regarding their roles in the session? And how do you keep everybody focused during the session?

To help models get into the zone and shake off any nerves, we create a relaxing vibe with some chill music and a friendly atmosphere. We’ve perfected the organizational issues over the years – everything on the shoot usually runs like clockwork, which eliminates any sense of disorientation for the models.

We also have a little trick: we meet up before the shoot for some energizing drinks and a casual chat. This helps everyone relax, especially the newbies. As for roles, we conduct pre-shoot castings where we give new models different tasks to see what suits them best.

We love your focus on authenticity, diversity, and inclusion. Do you have any pointers on how to truthfully represent people in your work?

The key is making sure our models feel comfortable in their roles. This way, everything looks natural and not forced. Everyone has their personal boundaries, and respecting these is crucial. We take the time to get to know each model, their likes, dislikes, and fears, essentially becoming friends. It takes time, but the results are totally worth it.

Do you have any goals or plans that you are excited about?

We’re thinking about launching a short educational video course on creating standout content that sells. This is especially important now, with the market being flooded with AI content. While AI-generated content can be efficient, it often lacks the personal touch and nuanced understanding that human-created content provides. And we believe we have something to say on how to develop unique, compelling content that not only stands out in a crowded marketplace but also connects deeply with the audience.

CLIQUE IMAGES

What is your motivation/driving force to create your work?

Our passion is our fuel. It drives our creativity and keeps us on a constant quest for new tools, innovative approaches, and game-changing solutions. The ultimate thrill is when a catchy idea turns into a killer visual concept that resonates with our audience.

Horizontal long shot portrait of modern big African American family wearing fancy outfits spending time together at party at home looking at camera
Clique Images

Is there something that you can not go without while creating new work? And why is this so important?

Good film labs that do high-resolution, quality scans. Without them I just have canisters of wound plastic memories sitting in my fridge.

If you could execute any idea — with no budget restraints or logistical limits — what would it be?

Oh, we’ve got tons of those! We’d love to shoot something epic, like a rocket launch into space, day-to-day life on board of a spacecraft, a dramatic car crash, or a volcanic eruption.

Do you have any hidden talents besides creating your wonderful work?

Some of the members of our tight-knit team are into motion graphics. We’re experimenting with incorporating these tools into our content to spice things up. We definitely plan to grow in this area. Motion graphics add a dynamic and visually engaging element that can elevate our storytelling and captivate the audience. As we continue to develop our skills, we’re excited to explore new creative possibilities and enhance the overall impact of our work.

How do you ensure that your work remains enjoyable and that you don’t burn out when creating new content?

We constantly review and reinvent our workflow, questioning every habitual step and approach. This keeps us improving and evolving. Stagnation is the enemy of creativity, and we avoid it at all costs.

Instant photo of joyful young African American producer and musician sitting in recording studio against mixing console smiling at camera
Clique Images

What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known from the start?

Don’t chase quantity to bulk up your portfolio – focus on quality. Even better, find a balance between the two. High-quality work demonstrates your skills and attention to detail, making a stronger impression on potential buyers. At the same time, maintaining a steady output shows your consistency, which is also crucial for sustaining long-term success in the creative field.

Creative blocks can happen to everybody; what works for you to get out of them?

The first and most crucial stage of creativity is thorough research. Being well-informed can prevent many creative blocks. It’s also essential to maintain balance—juggling productions, the creative process, personal life, and physical activity keeps you on track and prevents burnout.

Is there something that you can not go without while creating new work? And why is this so important?

I believe it’s crucial to catch and ride the wave of creative flow. The path to this flow can vary—it can be deliberate or spontaneous. Sometimes a simple idea magnificently transforms into something extraordinary thanks to an accidental inspiration from a random music video or a movie. Creativity requires focus, but it also needs moments of doing nothing to reignite that flow.

Do you have any advice for contributors just starting out at Stocksy?

To stand out on Stocksy, to become a prominent contributor you need to be as creative as possible. Creativity is about inventing something new, and everyone is capable of it. My advice is to observe yourself and discover the conditions that help you reach that creative state. Learn to create those conditions for yourself when needed.

Discover more of Clique Images's work