On Sunday night, the collective behind DIS magazine, the irreverent fashion and lifestyle website, celebrated the end of a month-long residency of sorts at Suzanne Geiss Company with a party in the downtown New York gallery. Models in swimwear milled about the scene brandishing iPads to showcase the strange fruits of DIS Image Studio, which transformed the gallery into a fully-functioning pop-up photography studio and created an archive of unusual stock photographs available now through disimages.com. “I feel like stock images affect our culture in a major way,” said Lauren Boyle, an editor and founder of DIS. “Everyone uses them, whether you’re sourcing ideas for a shoot or creating a presentation for a corporate client. If something’s not there or unavailable, that affects what you do.”

The images that DIS have produced in the past month are not exactly the sort you might come across on, say, the Getty website. These alternative stock images—some created by contributing artists like Frank Benson, Xavier Cha, and Josh Kline—exploit the clinical framing and soft lighting native to stock photography but with unexpected subject matter. In one, a bodacious glam model named Missy—whom you would typically find shaking her most visible assets at the camera in a rap video—is instead here photographed in classical repose, as if preparing to have her portrait done by, say, Rubens. While I observed Missy as she was being shot on Saturday afternoon amid the general din of the crew rushing around and wardrobe being wheeled about, Boyle seemed to anticipate a question that I, and others, might have about the DIS team's intentions: “I think people assume that what we’re doing is ironic,” she said. “Which is totally understandable, because DIS deals often in humor. But we’re actually very sincere about this. I feel like this site makes a case for using stock photography.”