With so many freelance creatives out of work, a little good news is overdue.
Today, Getty Images announced a new $10,000 grant for women and nonbinary creatives who have been shooting commercial photographs and videos for less than five years. The grant is the first of a new, ongoing funding stream earmarked for diverse imagery of women, femmes and nonbinary people to add to Getty’s #ShowUs library introduced in 2019.
The #ShowUs project was created to expand options for Getty Images users who increasingly demand more realistic portraits of women and nonbinary people. As diverse representation grows, consumers and readers expect beauty images that go beyond the typical thin white model in a bikini, as well as inspirational images of women and nonbinary people taking part in sports and other activities that show strength.
More of the new grants will be rolled out later in the year. The deadline for the first #ShowUs grant application is May 10, and a winner is expected to be announced in late May or early June.
The #ShowUs project is sponsored by Dove and Girlgaze, the network for female-identified and nonbinary creatives founded by Amanda de Cadenet last year. #ShowUs was a 2019 winner of the Cannes Silver Glass: The Lion for Change.
Rebecca Swift, global head of creative insights at Getty Images, said the goal of #ShowUs is to “help promote the authentic portrayal of women in the media.”
“We’re still working toward that goal today—both in front of, and behind, the camera,” said Swift. “As part of that project, we committed to returning a portion of any money made back into the community, so in honor of the one year anniversary of the launch, we are announcing the first grant.”
Not only will the winning photographer receive $10,000, but they will also have an opportunity to license content on Getty Images at a 100% royalty rate. Getty’s creative team will also offer mentorship to the grantee.
Swift said demand for images that portray women and nonbinary people authentically is increasing. From January 2019 through January 2020, Getty saw enormous increases in searches for terms like “woman hair natural” (a 2,333% increase) and “body positive” (a 470% increase.) New search terms like “unretouched” also took off, showing that media outlets and brands are seeking more inclusive images in the beauty and portrait sphere.
The #ShowUs library offers four sections that portray women and nonbinary subjects: Real, Inspirational, Contentment and Beauty. Under Inspirational, content like “trans woman playing drums” and “differently-abled female Filipino powerlifter training” portray talent, physical fitness and ability. The beauty category contains content showing senior women applying makeup, black women styling their hair, and women with vitiligo, scarring and albinism among other unique features.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many freelance creatives and artists find themselves suddenly out of work. Swift acknowledged that Getty Images hopes to help boost the community during a crisis.
“Our hope, once they are able and it is safe to do so, is that this grant inspires female-identifying and nonbinary creatives to capture the real-life stories of the women they know: their loved ones, their friends, their communities,” said Swift. “But just as importantly, that they have something to work on while the world is on pause.”