Photography is not just about taking pictures; it is about showing different feelings, moments, cultures, and emotions behind the image. That’s why photos, as well as photographers, are compelling because they can make you see the world from different shapes and angles. Every one of us sees thousands of other people images on several platforms like social media, advertisements, print, television, websites, and even in over daily environment.
We see several people’s images daily, and media has created a culture. Because of that, we try to define what is supposed to be expected, excellent and valuable. But media can not be as inclusive for everyone because of the prejudices, biases, and stereotypes followed from generation to generation. That’s why the images we see every day might be accurate and might not depict reality.
Most of the photos that we see in our daily lives primarily feature white people who are straight, attractive and have a well-maintained body. Moreover, if the image is about power, leadership, or strength, we will usually see males in the photo. Seeing these kinds of photos every day, our mindset has defaulted as thinking the same way. But not everyone is the same. Many people are more diverse than what is shown in the media.
We can notice that we usually see white people focusing on marketing images like music groups, TV shows, clothing, movies, etc. Seeing this image makes us think about the world and realize what is essential and what is not.
First of all, let’s be clear about “diverse” and “inclusive”.
Diversity means representing the characteristics of several peoples of different identities that form groups on particular similarities and groups are different. Likewise, inclusion implies a culture that welcomes and values different diverse perspectives. This makes individuals or groups feel respected. No matter who they are and their contributions, they will be made feel safe.
Most media does not show people inclusively or accurately, but that does not make it an unfixable problem. Diverse and Inclusive people images can change the way of thinking and show them as equal.
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Tips for choosing the best diverse and inclusive people images
If we put some effort and care, it becomes easy choosing the better diverse and inclusive people images. Here are a few tips to consider while selecting the people images.
Recognize the bases
At very first, it is essential to know about our biases and recognize how and where they can affect our actions. Everyone, including you and me, has tendencies, and most of our preferences have been fed because of our culture. Every image we see on any platform has been selected by someone based on their view and the shape of their biases and experiences.
Sometimes the images might have been chosen just because of choosing and featuring certain people over others. Our culture has taught us to do, and it is done in most cases. Most of our choices are mainly influenced by biases that we might be aware of. It can cause the perpetuation of inequality. That’s why it is essential to recognize your preferences because it can help you realize and find more inclusive imagery.
How to do so? We can easily recognize the inclusive imagery by keeping a few things in mind. First of all, choose the perfect photo for you and look at the images that appear in the first and last list of search terms. Open the website and type the search terms like “beautiful women”, “person cleaning the room”, “person laughing”, “happy face”, or “pilot”, and look at the results. Absorb the type of people you see on the result and how they are represented. Do the image shown in the results are stereotypical?
Maybe the search results for “person cleaning room” are all women, and the search results for “pilot” are all white men. How can the search results feature only white models at the top? That’s why observing and analyzing the images seen in the media is essential. Once you start observing properly, you will notice how stereotypical, predictable and homogenous they are.
Choosing according to Races/ethnicity
Whenever you choose the people images based on race, make sure you include African/Black, Middle eastern, mixed-race, Hispanic/Latinx, and Caucasian/white races.
Choosing according to gender
Ensure to include men, women, non-binary, transgender, and other genders while choosing images according to the gender.
Choosing according to the ages
Choosing images with just one age range is not enough. Choose different images which include people of the ages from birth to old.
Choosing according to the abilities
While choosing people images according to their abilities, don’t just look for the people with fit and fine physiques. Include other people with mental and physical abilities and disabilities.
Choosing according to the body types
There are several kinds of people. Some can differ because of body types, height, weights, sizes, and other factors. Try including them all in your search list while choosing the people images based on the body types.
Use search terms by being specific.
Using less-specific search terms like a man laughing, women eating food, man on a bicycle, women drinking coffee, man sleeping can show thousands of results with thousands of people of a different kind. That’s why being more specific is necessary.
Suppose you search for the African person reading books and just type by searching “man reading books”. You will find thousands of results with thousands of kinds of people. Isn’t it boring to search for one image from that many images? That’s why to be specific. If you are looking for an African man reading books, type “African man reading books”. It might feel uncomfortable to do so, but it can be beneficial.
Feature women leading
Whenever it comes to power, responsibility, or leadership, it generally shows man. Even if we search for those on the internet, it mainly shows men. That’s the chain we need to break. In this 21st century, women have become equal to men in every field, including technology. Women can also cover the areas including internet usage, employment, specialist skills, and others.
But there are still some things that show man-dominated society; we need to change that. How can we do that? Well, that’s not that hard to do. One simple step can change the mindset of people, use the images of women being engaged in tech and other jobs on different platforms like blog posts, reports, brochures, social media, and more. Using the images of women leading in the field can inspire others to think about their values and biases.
Pay attention to photo composition & background.
Just using photos that consist of every kind of person doesn’t always mean it represents equality. Various aspects affect images, including comprising, lighting, and cropping. Whenever you choose the photo, pay attention to how the people in the images are placed and what is in focus. Look for every detail like who is in focus, who is the main character, and who is the supporting character if the image is cropped in a way that shows one person superior over others. Moreover, also make sure that the photo is storytelling.
Make sure you choose the image with every person with good lighting, composition, and color. Choose an image in which people are placed equally away from the camera; it must feel like everyone seen in the photo is essential. It might seem small, but it can shift the culture to be more inclusive.
Use the search terms and use the filter.
Whenever you search for any term in any photo stock website, you will probably get the result of a young, well-maintained body, attractive, straight, and usually white person. It is one of the most common cases everywhere. For this, you can use the filter available on the website. By using the specific filter or tags, you can quickly get the right images you are looking for.
Another method of getting better search results that you are looking for is typing the specific terms you have in your mind. For example, you are exploring photoAC and choosing people who are smiling. While choosing, if you realize that you haven’t included the Hispanic people, you can search by being specific like “Hispanic man smiling”. It might feel uncomfortable in typing with a particular ethnicity, disability, race or body type, but it is essential to include every kind of person as much as possible.
Choose photos from trustworthy websites or resources.
To date, there are several websites where you can find free stock images. Check out different websites like photoAC and other websites for references and the best photos. Serve through various websites and notice which websites shows what kind of photo at the beginning when you search for specific terms. Browsing through the collection of different websites will give you a better idea of what the diverse and inclusive people images should look like and the exact meaning of inclusive. photoAC is one of them where you can find several best people images for free. You have to follow some steps, and you will get several diverse and inclusive people images for free.
Pay attention to photo lighting and cropping.
One of the primary things that make the image look even better is lighting and cropping. If you choose the image that shows the best diverse and inclusive people pictures but doesn’t have good lighting and cropping, your image will look incomplete.
While choosing the image, make sure you choose from the image with good lighting and make everything look clear. Moreover, with lighting, make sure that no one in the image is cropped or cut from the photo. Sometimes cropping the part of a person from images can make another person look superior over them. That will make your image look unequalized even if you have every kind of person in it.
Choose from either free stock images or premium images.
Our main goal is to choose the best people images that show diversity and inclusion. Sometimes you will find all these photos for free on several websites like photoAC. Free stock images can be downloaded quickly and easily anywhere you like. But sometimes, you might not find the exact thing you are looking for in the free stock images. At that moment, you can even go with the premium images. You will probably find all the images in free stock images, but sometimes you might need to go with the premium.
Make a demographic checklist.
Every time we select the photo, we include as many kinds of people as possible. Always make sure you choose every type of person while choosing the images, not just one type. We have created a list of people that should be included while selecting the images. If your search does not include them, make sure that you do a targeted search that includes them.
A demographic checklist can help identify when you choose too much of just one kind of person. Are most of your photos are of white males relaxing or are there many photos of Caucasian women? If so, make sure to try to swap some images which include other groups. Well, sometimes a question like “How can we include every kind of people every time?” might arise. That’s true; we can not include every kind of people every time we select people images, but a few need to be chosen while choosing based on the category you are selecting images for.
Choose a photo according to the required size and proportions.
Alongside choosing your desired images, it is also essential to determine what size of the image you need. You should know about the impact of the aspect ratio and image size. You will mainly see the image of two types: portrait and landscape.
Portrait images mean shorter width and more extended height, and landscape images mean wider images than their height. Once you decide what orientation you want your image in, you can choose the image’s size and shape.
If you choose an image for the website or any other small printing, you can go with the image that contains one or two people and is a little closer to the camera because while using the image for smaller space, the image is taken from far can not be clear. If the people are seen closely, you can easily see even if the image is placed in a small space.
Likewise, if you choose an image for an advertisement that will be huge, you can select the image that consists of several people who are a little far from the camera. In big size, even small people can be seen quickly and clearly, so you can go with the image of people who are a little far from the camera.