They’re one of the largest image databases worldwide and Getty Images are out to prove that they are here to represent the real world. After a move in June to diversify their catalogue of images, calling for inclusivity and to add more people of colour to their stock photographs, Getty is now taking an even bigger leap. As of October 1, 2017, all Getty photographers will have a ban on model retouching written into their contracts.
It’s a huge shift for the industry. As more apps are released to allow the everyday smartphone user to retouch photographs and share them, this shift away from perfected models to more realistic representations is likely to raise some eyebrows. Getty have defended their choice, citing the importance of positive representations:
“Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see: positive representation can have direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance, and empowering communities to feel represented in society.”
The contractual change also coincides with new rules launching in France. Known as one of the most fashionable countries in the world, the French government have now implemented a law stating that retouched images of models must be accompanied by a disclaimer. The disclaimer also applies to images where a model’s body has been Photoshopped to manipulate their size.