Fatherhood has changed, and so have the stock photos – ANITH
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Fatherhood has changed, and so have the stock photos

Fatherhood has changed, and so have the stock photos

Getty’s made big strides, but there’s still more work to do to accurately reflect fathers, and families, of today. Families are multiracial, and it’s not just mom-and-dad any more. Getty searches for “gay dads” and “single dad” are up 53 percent and 60 percent respectively over the past year. But when one searches “gay dads” in Getty’s public-facing collection, roughly 1,700 results pop up. Comparatively, there are about 325,000 results for “mom and dad.”

“The next evolution of this, what we’re seeing, is [the idea of] fathers becoming more intersectional and more inclusive. We’re seeing different types of modern families: two dads, two moms, interracial,” Marks, the senior art director, said. (Only a handful of the past decade’s most-downloaded images of dads that Getty provided included people of color.)

“That’s what exists in the world and we want to represent that.”

But images with two dads, two moms, or trans dads still aren’t top sellers at Getty.

Brent Almond, who blogs about parenting at Designer Daddy and lives in Maryland with his husband and eight-year-old son, said he rarely sees himself in stock photos or even advertising geared toward parents. When he got several catalogs from photo sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish around the holidays in 2013, he saw photo after photo of heterosexual couples. It annoyed him so much he reviewed photos featured in four catalogs and found zero same-sex parents. He did the same experiment in 2015, and not much changed.

“To not include same-sex couples is basically saying you don’t belong,” he said. “You don’t belong in the happiest moment of our culture.”

Dads like Almond and Bogle have their own wish lists for stock photos of fathers. Bogle wants to see dads taking their daughters to sports games, not just their sons, and Almond would like to see fathers getting their nails painted by their sons, not just their daughters.

“That’s breaking down all the gender norms,” Almond said. 

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Anith Gopal
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