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What a picture is worth

February 13, 2014

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Last week I heard about Getty’s new Lean in Collection on my local NPR station, WNYC.  I listened to the story about pictures with my communications person hat on, thinking how frustrating it is to try and find good stock images of anything but especially of real people – women, diverse ethnic groups, humans that don’t appear to be androids.  Today  I saw the story again, this time on Buzzfeed, and perhaps because I was seeing a sampling of the photos themselves, the story resonated with me on multiple levels.  Not just as a mom in her thirties with biracial children. And not just as someone who often tries to represent a brand and communicate a message through photography. But also as a person concerned about social issues like women’s rights and how brands and companies address them intentionally and also through their business activities. Here are a few of my takeaways of why this initiative is so great:

  1. The images are visually stunning and fill a void in the marketplace.
  2. The pictures reflect the world as it is, and don’t make a preachy fuss about social change.
  3. The pictures cut across generations, and depending on yours you either see your normal finally depicted or stereotypes you’ve long fought being broken down.
  4. It’s not positioned as an announcement about a partnership or grant funding, but the end product shared with the world as a useful thing.
  5. The publicity isn’t just about promised collaboration but instead informs both the niche of potential users but also manages to matter to everyday women.
  6. It is dead center of what Getty does as a business and addresses a globally relevant social issue.
  7. It is going to make people think AND it will undoubtedly sell more images for Getty.
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