One of the photos from the This is Australia Getty collection.
One of the photos from the This is Australia Getty collection. Daniella Cortis

Images with the power to change the way we think

Australians living with disability are now seeing authentic representation across media and advertising, thanks to a newly-inspired collection of photos from Getty Images and Canon Australia.

Set to combat the stereotypes and portrayal of disability in advertising, the new collection offers brands a more realistic choice of stock imagery to use in future promotional material.

The collaboration, which also includes not-for-profit Starting With Julius, is the latest in Getty Images' ongoing commitment to see genuine representation and inclusivity of people living with handicaps.

It also comes after the site experienced a rise in demand for disabled-related content - seeing up to a ninety-three percent increase in searches in the past year alone.

Petra O'Halloran, Creative Research Project Manager of Getty Images, admits that while it's a step in the right direction, the industry still has work to do to create a broader representation.

"We believe it's a brand's responsibility to encourage greater diversity and authenticity - so we are taking steps to do so," she says.

Available for download in the 'This is Australia' collection, the gallery shows real people, rather than actors portraying disability, and even features some of Starting With Julius' own personalities.

Angel Dixon, Advocacy Manager for Starting with Julius, believes that the collection will revolutionise stock imagery, and in turn, the way disability is viewed throughout Australia.

"Stock imagery has the power to change the way stories are told," she said.

Budding photographers also enjoyed a taste of what the future may hold, following Canon's call-out for local users to take part in an open photoshoot.

It's hoped that in doing so, the wider public will be further educated on how to work effectively alongside those with disability.

"We're proud to give Canon camera owners a platform to build their skills and to be part of the shift to more authentic representations of Australians," says Jason McLean, Director of Canon Consumer Imaging.

The move is only the start of what's hoped will inspire a larger social and cultural change.