July 26, 2021

Getty is ‘Leaning In’ when it comes to stock photos

Pin It

Top-Images-Getty-Woman-569x640By Kurt Wagner From Mashable

A picture says a thousand words. But Sheryl Sandberg and Getty Images didn’t like what those pictures were saying about women.

Getty and Lean In will announce a partnership on Monday intended to change the perception of women in stock images used around the world. The two organizations have teamed up to create a new stock photo gallery called the “Lean In Collection,” which has 2,500 images that offer more positive and powerful perceptions of women.

The gallery, which launches ahead of Women’s History Month and LeanIn.org’s first anniversary, both in March, includes positive images of women, families and even men.

“The stock imagery around women is embarrassing,” said Jessica Bennett, contributing editor at LeanIn.org, the organization cofounded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “You can’t be what you can’t see, so if women and girls are not seeing images of powerful women and girls who are leaders, then they may not aspire to become that.

Stock photos of women are not only important to how women are perceived in society, but they’re also widely used. “Woman” is the most commonly searched term on Getty “Woman” is the most commonly searched term on Getty, and “business” is second on the list, said Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty. “Family” is also in the top 10 searches, she added.

A New York Magazine article from November compiled a slideshow of some of the most common depictions of women in stock photos, including women wearing boxing gloves, women with power tools and women stepping on top of men — literally.

143911346_11Despite the images in the New York article, Grossman said that the perception of women has slowly shifted in the right direction over the past few years. For example, the top selling Getty image of a female in 2007 was a naked woman lying in bed covered only by a sheet. Today, the top downloaded image depicts a woman riding a train, looking ahead. “She really feels like the protagonist of her own story,” Grossman said.

The new Lean In Collection pays particularly close attention to things like women’s posture and diversity. Grossman says the new stock images are not meant to make journalists or readers feel guilty about the photos used in the past, but instead to provide more options.

“This is about adding to possibilities, it’s not about reprimanding anybody,” she said. “We just want to make sure that we’re broadening the spectrum of what’s acceptable and expected.”

Getty is also taking the project to another, more financially focused level. The company already offers a number of photography grants, and it’s adding two more. The first grant, worth $10,000, is for editorial work that “reflects positive images of women and girls in their communities,” Grossman said. The other grant, worth $20,000, is for a commercial or creative campaign that focuses on issues related to Lean In’s mission.

Additionally, a portion of money raised from collection downloads will be donated back to LeanIn.org.

Getty plans to add new images to the gallery each month. The current gallery is not comprised of entirely new images, but a combination of new and old ones that were hand-selected and approved by the two organizations.

“We’re really trying to visualize a new world,” Grossman said. “I know that sounds very grand, but it’s absolutely true. This is a real passion project for us.”

A woman lying naked in bed was the most downloaded image of a woman on Getty in 2007; a woman riding a train is the most downloaded image from that category today.


For more on this story go to:




Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind