Using stock photos that are diverse. Representation of diverse people. Use photos of different ethnic groups, sexualities, abilities and gender identities.

I was looking for stock photographs of women that looked like me (brown and chunky), to use with marketing and social media content. I noticed two things – finding photos of women in business settings wasn’t easy. They tended to be either a group of men (or men’s hands) or headless women (I don’t know why that is but have a quick search and you will see what I mean). Photos of women of color were even harder to find. After digging around on Unsplash for a while, I got some results. 

By then I was disheartened and had used images of desks and stationary on my website. I kept thinking about it though and decided to put this list together.

Equality and representation are important to me ( I was an Equality Specialist in my last career). Not just that, inclusion makes great business sense because:

  • It demonstrates that your business isn’t only for one demographic. You may have your niche, but you want to reach everyone within it. Your marketing will be more effective. 
  • People see themselves in your brand, which is empowering. Your brand resonates more deeply with them, which fosters a sense of belonging. 
  • When it comes to hiring, you will attract people from a wide pool of talent.

Stock photos are just the beginning – you can’t use representative photos and call it inclusion. Having said that, it’s a great place to start. 

If you have great sources that I have missed, please share them with me!

Sources of Great Stock Photos

CreateHer Stock  

Representation Matters 

AllGo on Unsplash 

The Jopwell Collection 

The Gender Spectrum Collection 

Tonl 

Muslim Girl Collection 

#WOC in Tech 

4 Comments

  1. Ellie on December 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

    This is such an important topic to discuss and I feel like more people ought to be talking about it for sure! I checked out some of the sites you linked up and they have some wonderful content ♥ Great post – very interesting read x

  2. Rachel O'Reilly on December 6, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you! It’s so easy to just grab the first photo. I do it all the time! It’s a small but important thing we can do ❤️

  3. Mint Miller on December 7, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you so much for this list! I try to make sure my blog’s images are inclusive, but there are not many common resources for diverse stock images. I think it’s so important to write (and therefore illustrate) with your whole audience in mind.

    • Rachel O'Reilly on December 7, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      I was so pleased to find the Unsplash ones, and then didn’t think to look for any more until I wrote this. The funny thing is that I’m not represented by the standard photos, but I find myself using them because I feel in the minority, but then that probably goes for all of us!

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