New stock images represent Australia’s disability community

Posted 4 years ago by Nicole Pope
Credit: Belinda Howell – This Is Australia Collection [Source: Supplied]
Credit: Belinda Howell – This Is Australia Collection [Source: Supplied]

A new collaboration with Getty Images will bring to life stock imagery that represents Australians with disability.

Getty Images and Canon Australia have teamed up with not-for-profit organisation, Starting with Julius, to accurately portray people with disability and change the way disability is represented in the media. 

The images will be added to the existing This is Australia collection, which launched nearly a year ago and builds on the organisation’s The Disability collection, following a partnership with Verizon Media. 

Creative Research Project Manager of Getty Images, Petra O’Halloran, says the industry needs to take stereotyping and misrepresentation of Australia’s diverse population more seriously. 

“Images have a profound impact on the way we view the society we live in and should represent the full breadth of demographics, belief systems and ways of life,” says O’Halloran says. 

“When one in five Australians experience disability, it shouldn’t be rare for advertising and marketing to include them. 

“We believe it’s a brand’s responsibility to encourage greater diversity and authenticity – so we are taking steps to do so.

“The collection intentionally depicts people with disabilities in the full spectrum of human experiences that make up daily life, includes a diverse range of socioeconomic status, age, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality and portrays real people, rather than actors portraying disability. 

“Importantly, it also was designed to avoid only representing the stereotypical narrative of “overcoming” disability and instead accurately pictures disability as one aspect of a person’s identity.”

She says Starting With Julius’ commitment to the equal representation of people with disability in advertising and media made them an ideal partner to co-create the collection with.

“Alongside Starting With Julius, this collection gave us a platform to educate our contributors around how to work with people with disability, including the appropriate language to use and general content creation guidance,” Ms O’Halloran explains.

Advocacy Manager for Starting With Julius, Angel Dixon, says misrepresentation and negative language used within stock images, captions and tags has been problematic for a long time.

“Stock images can be downloaded an infinite amount of times and images are used across advertising, websites and applications, social media, TV and film, presentations, newspapers, magazines, books, and so much more,” Ms Dixon says. 

She explains stock images are used to tell stories and more inclusive, stock imagery has the power to change the way stories are told.

“Getty Images is leading the way in filling the gaps and revolutionising stock imagery when it comes to images of people with disability,” Ms Dixon says.

“Starting With Julius is excited to be partnered with Getty Images and Canon on this project.”

Director at Canon Consumer Imaging, Jason McLean, says the partnership represents an ongoing commitment to help Canon users develop their photography skills while helping to create more authentic content.

“Our partnership with Getty Images and Starting With Julius gives Canon camera owners the opportunity to contribute to imagery in the Australian media and advertising industry,” Mr McLean says.

“We’re proud to give Canon camera owners a platform to build their skills and be part of the shift to more authentic representations of Australia and Australians.”

Getty Images, Canon Australia and Starting with Julius also developed a comprehensive set of guidelines on how to authentically reflect people with disabilities in photography.

To view the latest images in the This Is Australia collection, click here.