Ozark Stock is a licensed business in the state of Missouri and is the business side of The OzArt Network which includes Ozark Stock Photography, The OzArt Gallery and Store, Ha Ha Tonka Gallery, and LEFTeyeSTORIES.
Ozark Stock was founded in 1987 by John S. Stewart in response to a growing demand for stock photography from the Ozarks and Branson, Missouri in particular following the “Branson Boom” which brought major entertainers and music theatres to the Ozarks’ town. During that period through the 1990s, Ozark Stock had a bricks and mortar office in downtown Springfield and met clients face to face or via FedX sending 35mm and 120mm transparencies to publications and agencies across the country.
Even though images were produced on film in the 1990s, Ozark Stock embraced computerization of their catalogue system to quickly find and distribute imagery to clients.
The 2000s brought change to the industry and Ozark Stock evolved producing images digitally and digitalizing much of their library of film images. It is now 100% online and licenses imagery through their online outlet, Ozark Stock Photography as well as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and looking into partnering with other online agencies.
John S. Stewart has been active in photography and media fulltime since 1975. He graduated from Drury College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and chemistry. Hmmmm…
“I liked biology and I was even a lab assistant for one of the professors for a couple of semisters, but I was more drawn to photographing the fauna and flora than classifying and disecting it”.
With a biology background and love of photography, the career path seemed obvious to this naive recent college graduate. He would become a wildlife photographer and that is exactly what he told Angus MacDougal, the head of the photojournalism department at the University of Missouri School of Journalism when he enrolled the following fall.
“Well”, MacDougal said, pausing only to supress his laughter. “We don’t shoot many rock and roots around here”.
So, the career path took a turn and graduating in 1976 from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in photojournalism, Stewart began photographing and writing for newspapers and magazines, publications that are mostly about humans, a different kind of fauna than the wildlife he intended.
Editorial and commercial assignment photography have occupied his efforts since the mid 1970s as a staff photographer and later independently working for publications including, The New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today and many trade publications.
Stewart continues to explore innovative uses for the abundance of quality digital images and repurposing vintage photography as art for home and office decor, for product use and incorporating into video production.