As someone who works (or will work) in advertising and marketing, you play an important role in increasing the visibility of underrepresented people in media and culture. Whether you're creating a mock-up, looking for images for a deck, or creating content for a brand, here are three free stock photography sites (and one not free bonus) that are breaking stereotypes and making images more inclusive.
Note: These photographs are free from copyright restrictions or are licensed under the creative commons public domain dedication, meaning you can copy, distribute, or change the work of the photographers without asking permission. However, photos often require attribution, so make sure you're giving credit where it's due!
1) The Gender Spectrum Collection by Broadly
The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring trans and non-binary models that aims to help media better represent members of these communities. Launched in March this year, the collection features over 180 images of 15 trans and non-binary models, shot by artist and photographer Zackary Drucker, and made available to the public for free.
2) Natural Women Collection by Canva
Canva's Natural Women Collection is changing the representation of women in stock photography to break us out of a category that used to be filled with young, Caucasian models with flawless skin, slim physiques, and long hair. Canva worked with select photographers from around the world to capture and curate a collection of stock photos that authentically depicts the women of all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and ages.
Note: Some photos on Canva are free and others are not, so double check before you download.
Started in 2015, this massive Flickr photostream —514 photos and counting!—focuses on portraying women of color from all corners of the tech ecosystem. The story of how the collection was born out of a twitter hashtag meant to cultivate a community around women and non-binary people of color is equally inspiring.
Bonus: The Disability Collection by Getty Images
Considering that one in five people in the world live with a disability, the lack of representation in the media was bleak: only 2% of images reflected the lives of disabled people. In response, Getty Images partnered with Oath and the National Disability Leadership Alliance to create a growing collection of images that break stereotypes and more authentically portray individuals with disabilities.
Note: These photos are not free, so consider them when work will pay for the license.
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