Stock photography is everywhere, and a lot of it reinforces traditional gender roles.
But Getty Images partnered with Sheryl Sandberg's LeanIn.org last year to change that by creating a collection of 2,500 images showing women in more empowering ways. The collection, which has since doubled in size, turned out to be a success, according to Getty, with sales also doubling since the launch.
Now, ahead of Father's Day and following the launch of Sandberg's "Lean In Together" campaign earlier this year, Getty Images has curated another collection, this time offering images that redefine representations of masculinity. According to the company, there has been a growing demand for imagery showing a modernized view of gender equality like parents sharing the work of raising kids and images of same-sex couples.
The collection, which Getty customers can find by entering the keywords "Lean In Together" in the database, features images of what the company describes as men as involved caretakers and caregivers, men who are emotionally available and affectionate, men involved in domestic life, and men working collaboratively in the workplace.
"We believe the more images that a person ingests which are gender-forward and which break gender stereotypes and clichés, the more normalized that becomes," said Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty Images. "Not only does that help make them much more comfortable with images of women leading or men caretaking, but they are much more comfortable with adopting that kind of behavior in their actual lives and aspiring to that behavior."
According to Getty, just eight years ago, images of fatherhood were scarce, and the ones that were available were steeped in clichés—playing sports, fishing, drinking beer. But over the last three years, the company has seen images tagged "modern dad" or "stay-at-home dad" increase in sales by over 450 percent. During that same period, there was a a sevenfold increase in searches with the keywords "dad changing diaper."
"In 2007, the top-selling image of a fatherhood globally was an image of a man playing football with his son," said Grossman. "You can't get any more gender-normative than that. Whereas our top-selling image of a father this year, so far, is a man with his daughter sitting and reading together. The energy and texture of the image is so markedly different in the seven-, eight-year span that we're tracking."