Getty Images hosts over 200 million assets covering news, sport, entertainment, commercial, stock and much more. As a source of visual content, it is constantly creating new imagery for the world to use, but when coronavirus hit, shoots, events and meetings were cancelled immediately and its offices adopted a working from home policy. However there was still demand for imagery from media outlets, platforms, organisations, and governing bodies, but it was for a new specific genre of coronavirus-related imagery. For instance in the beginning there was a need for images of people queuing for the supermarket and empty streets, then it was self-car and online shopping, and now it’s shifting into visually representing a socially-distanced life.
For Dr. Rebecca Swift, senior director and global head of Creative Insights at Getty Images, it’s been a time of adapting quickly and working with constraints. “I have worked in this industry through previous crises and have not seen anything like this in the past,” she says.
Swift has been ensuring Getty’s photographers and videographers have a renewed focus, but this strange time has also given her time to reflect on what changes need to be made in the photography industry. Here she talks about how her team has adapted, as well as acknowledging the industry’s biases and the role she can play in changing them.