The images you choose to share on your social media platforms, website, and marketing materials tell a lot about your business and mindset. Potential employees, existing employees, potential customers, and returning customers; all will look at the image choices you make. They want to be reflected in those photographs; they want their diversity to be properly represented on your digital platforms. You need to understand the concept of inclusive imagery and implement it as only then would your website be true to humankind’s innate nature – diverse and beautiful. Visual content is a strong tool that can make or break a brand’s image.
All businesses do aim to expand their reach and attract as many customers as possible. They also focus on retaining the existing customers and maintaining good relations with them. Thus, it is essential to choose the right images that represent different cultures and different people from different backgrounds. This will help them feel welcomed and motivate them to interact with your business. Here are some of the best resources for culturally diverse stock photos to get you started:
If you look at the technology field, there is not much representation of young people of color. UKBlackTech intends to change this and boost the growth of ethnic and Black minorities in the tech sector. For this purpose, they organized a professional photo shoot to create images missing from the equation for a long time now. Their focus also goes to include distinctive British aesthetics. You can use any of these images under Creative Commons licensing as long as UKBlackTech is rightfully credited.
TONL believes having a diverse mix of voices creates room for better discussion for everyone involved. This website showcases a glimpse into the lives of various types of people. Each image is supported with relevant text to broaden the story and intensify the impact. Their website’s user design and user experience make finding relevant images all the more comfortable and straightforward. They have all the images organized into different ‘narratives’ such as Technology, Taste, Travel, Trend, and more. There are religious photos, family photos, individual representative photos, and so much more. You can purchase these individually or with a subscription.
The mind behind this resourceful website is Sequoia Houston. She expresses the difficulty in finding professional, diverse visuals for her marketing job. She then realizes that she can fill this gap by creating a website that ensures there are diverse professional visuals available for everyone to use. This led to Mocha Stock coming to live. You can find a diverse range of stock images, videos, and even illustrations to use for that matter on this website. It shows people of all colors with genuine vibe and emotions.
There are specially curated albums also like a business, celebrating women and family. These images are royalty-free and available for a fairly reasonable price. They also take it a step further by providing stock illustrations for very reasonable prices that also have a good diversity collection. These can be useful for any digital media company that doesn’t necessarily have the budget to hire an illustrator yet.
This is one of the go-to websites to go to for culturally diverse stock photos. Photoability is cleverly named as it describes precisely what the website stands for. The website has individuals that have some of the other disabilities as their models. Whenever a user purchases a stock image from this website, a portion of the sales value goes directly.
There are children and adults in various sports, lifestyle, business, and more diverse settings. The aim is to show people using a wheelchair, walkers, canes, guide dogs, and other mobility devices in their happiest light. There has a flexible price range to suit any budget. They also provide generous discounts for advocacy groups.
The issue with most stock images is that they look staged. This throws off the visitor or potential customer as they can quickly tell that the image they are looking at is irrelevant and insincere. Images in digital media have the power to captivate and invoke emotions. They cannot be boxed and forced. Nappy understands this and provides stunning high-res photos of Brown and Black people. They capture everyday moments like hanging out, eating, working, exercising to every tiniest detail you can think of. They request the users to give them credit; however, they haven’t kept it a compulsion.
Their website is beautiful, with big thumbnails to showcase their pictures’ quality and authenticity in different sizes and shapes. The visual journey that you’d get to experience when scrolling their website is very refreshing. The site also loads smoothly without annoying the user where they need to wait for the website to load all the photos.
The founder of this website – Noesha Gardner, aims to create a community by motivating people to connect with her team for collaborations. She also encourages users to add their stock photo to the collection and send their users a monthly newsletter to keep them updated about whatever is going on.
This two-way interactive approach is rare with stock image websites, which makes it a very engaging website. There are over 3500 photos of women of color in various settings. The website has both royalty-free and premium options.
Picnoi is ideal for representing every skin tone and race if you are looking for such stock images. Generally, free stock websites have a minimal range of photos when showing people of color.
Hence they created a space for designers, website owners, publishers, bloggers, and anyone who requires free access to a diverse range of stock images at their fingertips. They appreciate you if you give them attribution; however, it is not compulsory.
Klaud9 is a Singapore-based website with several photos focused on people from Asian backgrounds who have worked in big giants like Nivea, Google, and Visa. They have over 57,000 photographs of women with disabilities, mature women, and businesswomen. You can also demand custom photoshoots to match your digital requirement more accurately.
Diversity Photos is one of the best resources for culturally diverse stock photos. All the pictures on this site look authentic, relevant, and inclusive. They have pictures in a broad spectrum of topics ranging from – health, business, spirituality, culture, disabilities, family, and more. The pictures are high-res, and users have the flexibility of getting subscriptions or à la carte at reasonable prices.
DragonImages is a website that aims to be the platform to represent Asian people correctly. It is launched by a stock photography group named Pressfoto Group. They are based in Asia and focus on providing a collection of images representing their ethnicities, culture, customs, and continent. They go to different shoot locations and click pictures of Asian models. DragonImages is home to Asian stock images in various settings. The prices for their pictures are very minimal, most of the time costing less than a dollar.
Rawpixel is a worldwide known and reliable source of stock images that every designer knows about. While they are not specifically targeted towards providing culturally diverse stock photos, they still have an impressive collection of LGBTQ+ images and several other culturally diverse stock photos. You are allowed to download ten images for free per day. However, their prices are also very economical if you require more than ten on any given day.
There are not many stock photo websites or resources that represent non-binary or transgender people. Hence, the gender spectrum collection is worthy of your attention as it beautifully represents these communities. It is essential to feel represented in the working environment and all other walks of life. This is because their individualities should not be defined by gender identities and their hobbies, careers, and interests. This impressive collection by Vice’s Broadly publication is a positive step in the right direction.
Just as the name suggests, this website aims at providing users with images of people in all shapes and sizes. It challenges the norm of featuring only thin, able-bodied, or white people. They represent plus-size people very well. Most of the content is paid, but if you sign up for their newsletter, you can get three free images per month!
This is a beautifully curated website for finding stock images of black people. Although they have a smaller collection of photos than other vast databases, they are still a valuable stock photo resource for the inclusivity of diversity. They also host a free digital classroom for budding photographs. You can make use of their stock photos for blogger markets and lifestyle-related content. Besides having paid stock photographs, they also host free resources for editorial and personal use. The website is designed neatly and is very soothing to the eyes. You can browse it with ease and find what you’re looking for.
Marilyn Wynn is a photographer who has been documenting Native Americans since 1989. She has gathered a stunning collection of 150,000+ images in her stock photo collection. This website is a curation of those photos. Her work is featured in popular publications such as National Geographic, Times, and more. She is also a filmmaker and has been represented by Blend, Getty, Superstock, and more.
She shares any revenue from the site on a 50/50 basis with the model in the pictures she clicks. She follows strict terms and conditions, which could demotivate many users to try this resource; however, her work justifies the extra demands.
Jopwell can be considered a career advancement stage for people of color – Latino, Hispanic, Native Americans, Black professionals. Ryan Williams and Porter Brawsell (founders of the platform) are dedicated to the vision of creating more diverse workplaces all across the US. You can copy, display, and distribute images from this website, provided you attribute it with ‘Jopwell’ or ‘Jopwell.com.’
This is one of the biggest names in stock photography. Their images’ qualities are often unparalleled and used in many websites that require huge banner sized images. They have several collections that help you find culturally diverse stock photos. You can check out their All Nations collection that aims to capture diversity from all around the world. They also have an impressive collection named ‘Powerful Women’ with women of all colors, sizes, professions, and walks of life.
This is a beautiful website that has stunning lifestyle photos with professional flair and feminine style. This website has POC in very natural settings, unlike some stock photo websites where it looks too posed or set up. Their idea is to empower women to create their visual identity for their online brand. If you sign up for their newsletter, you get 20 free stock photos.
This website was previously known as Haute Chocolate. It is one of the most autonomous stock websites in the market. It gravitates towards desktop/feminine shots in a professional setting with gold accessories, coffee cups, and more. If you want to use their free resources, you would have to sign up for their mailing list.
These are 19 resources for culturally diverse stock photos. Use these websites to find photos that encourage inclusivity and portray you as a brand that doesn’t believe in bias or stereotypes. It is essential as a brand to be more responsible and sensitive towards people of color, different ethnicities, and also believes. Accurate representation helps the audience feel a genuine connection with you, and it also shows you in a good light.