This article was originally published by i-D US.
The lack of diversity in stock images doesn't get quite the same attention as the lack of diversity in Hollywood or at Paris Fashion Week. But a visual language that's bland by nature is still very powerful, precisely because many of us don't realise just much we're surrounded by generic images of "[white] woman eating salad" and "[white] businessman asleep at desk." Rising photographer Campbell Addy is making that language a lot less boring, and a lot more reflective of what society actually looks like.
As part of Getty's attempt to make stock images more inclusive, the photo source has tapped Addy to shoot 42 portraits of models from his own Niis Agency. The 24-year-old, London-based photographer founded Niis last summer in an attempt to foster real, meaningful diversity in fashion. Safe to say you won't see many iceberg lettuce leaves or Toshiba-looking office products in Addy's portraits. The British-Ghanaian photographer intentionally ignites difficult conversations about race and sexuality by examining the complexities of racial identity.
"At a time when imagery is the most widely spoken global language it has never been more important to produce and promote a visual language that is progressive and inclusive and to support diverse voices in doing so," said Andy Saunders, Senior Vice President Creative Content at Getty Images, in a statement. Addy said the aim of his 42 portraits is "to highlight and celebrate diversity in society and ultimately drive positive change in visual language."
Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Campbell Addy, courtesy of Getty Images