Creative in association withGear Seven

Getty Images and Women's Sport Trust Redefine the Imagery of Female Athletes

Stock Footage
London, United Kingdom
Focused on a realistic representation for women and girls, the partnership launches with a 'Best of Women's Sports' editorial curation

Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications and Women’s Sport Trust, the leading women’s sports charity, have today announced a new partnership with the aim of increasing the visibility of female athletes and women’s sports, whilst also challenging the way in which female athletes are portrayed in imagery. Focused on the realistic and aspirational representation of sportswomen and girls, the partnership launches today with a powerful ‘Best of Women’s Sports’ editorial curation featuring the world’s top sportswomen in action. 


These images will be made available free of charge to schools, universities and not-for profit organisations to promote the powerful depiction of women and girls in sports to the broadest audience possible.  Future plans for the curation include a touring exhibition across schools and other grassroots organisations to increase visibility and awareness.

In addition to these iconic editorial images, the partnership will see the launch of a new collection on dedicated to the development of premium creative imagery that reflects the diversity of female athletes and the vast range of sports they participate in.  To be announced in due course, the new collection will promote a redefined visual representation of sportswomen in the commercial sphere and serve as a resource for marketers, advertisers and media for use in their campaigns and communications.  Over time, this creative collection will also develop free to access imagery via dedicated shoots and new commissions for non-commercial use.


The partnership between Getty Images and Women’s Sport Trust is timely, with new research released by Girlguiding this week, showing that 93 per cent of females aged between 11-21 years agree that women are judged more on appearance than ability. In addition, looking at body image in sports specifically, a 2014 study by BT Sport revealed 80 per cent of female athletes feel pressure to look a certain way.


Rugby legend Maggie Alphonsi MBE commented that, “Women are often scrutinized and judged in a way that men simply are not. What we are wearing and how we look can be talked about more than our performances. We are a diverse, strong, committed and talented group of athletes, let’s start seeing that being fully represented in the media and changing the conversation around women in sports for the better.” 


Designed to inspire and educate people while breaking down limiting gender stereotypes, the forthcoming creative collection will develop fresh, relevant and aspirational imagery depicting sporting females, informed by a set of guidelines which both the Women’s Sport Trust and Getty Images hope will become an industry standard.


The guidelines are as follows: 

- Sport appeal not sex appeal. Focus on the skill, strength, speed, passion and drama of the sport instead of how the athletes look

- Mix it up. Capture a diverse mix of athletes participating in a wide range of sports

- Keep it real. Authentic, credible imagery that represents the athlete as she’d want to be seen

- Play your part. Everyone involved in the production, reporting and consumption of sporting imagery to take responsibility for the changes they can make

- More is more. Increase the number of images taken and seen

- Be bold. Be creative and push the boundaries, seek out new talent and new audiences


“With the Rio 2016 Olympics only just behind us, where female athletes shone as brightly as their male counterparts, it is an incredibly exciting time to launch this partnership,” said Rebecca Swift, Director for Visual Trends at Getty Images. “We are a passionate advocate for the realistic representation of all through imagery, and we are particularly thrilled to be partnering with Women’s Sport Trust to redefine how people view women in sport and female-led sports through imagery. As a keen sportswoman myself, as well as Director for Visual Trends at Getty Images, this initiative is close to my heart and I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact this partnership will have on the visual landscape.”


Both Women’s Sport Trust and Getty Images are committed to engaging with influencers across the sector to actively encourage an increase in the number and quality of images taken of sportswomen in action.


“If you bring great pictures and great sport together, you have the potential to change people’s attitudes and inspire.  The Women’s Sport Trust and Getty Images share an ambition to be traiblazers in the creation and distribution of powerful, engaging, brilliant images of sporting women and girls.  We are absolutely delighted to be working with the world’s leading photographic agency to make this happen.” Tammy Parlour and Jo Bostock, Co-Founders, Women’s Sport Trust. 


Getty Images will also be launching a 12-month paid internship for an up-and-coming female photographer. Based in their London office, the successful applicant will work with Getty Images’  global sports team, training as a photographer, editor, and picture desk editor. Getty Images will select the intern during a series of portfolio reviews at UK universities and colleges from January-May of 2017. The internship will begin in July 2017.


Speaking about the internship, Getty Images’ Vice President for Sport, Ken Mainardis says: “At Getty Images we are proud to have the best sports photography team in the business – our award-winning roster of photographers are renowned globally, with Getty Images serving as the official photographer or photographic partner to over 70 of the world’s leading sports governing bodies, leagues and clubs. Getty Images works with the very best photographic talent in the business and we are particularly excited to be offering a position to a female photographer to encourage more females into the sports photography profession.”


In addition to briefing and sourcing imagery from Getty Images’ global network of over 200,000 contributing photographers, the partnership will focus on unearthing new female photographic talent via an open sport photography competition, to be launched in 2017.


The partnership with Women’s Sport Trust follows Getty Images’ ongoing collaboration with Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit organisation, LeanIn.Org on the Getty Images Lean In collection – a curation of imagery dedicated to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.


For any schools, universities or not-for profit organisations wishing to access imagery from the Getty Images 'Best of Women's Sports' curation please click here to register. Once you are registered you will be able to access the images by clicking this link.