Getty Images, the world’s biggest stock photo agency, has a treasure trove of historical photographs typically reserved for editorial use. In its archive of more than 80 million images, you’ll find Obama on his campaign trail, the Beatles in a swimming pool, Earth as seen from the moon, and Eadweard Muybridge’s famous study of a horse in motion. Now, Getty is making those images available to anyone through Photos.com by Getty Images, a site where you can purchase high-quality framed prints of the agency's best photography.
It's an intriguing business move that follows a series of other strategic shifts aimed at updating the photo agency for the digital age. Rampant piracy and free content galore have eradicated the old rules governing photography as a business. Getty is simply getting with the times. In February, the agency launched the Lean In Collection in collaboration with Sheryl Sandberg--a campaign to promote feminist depictions of women in stock imagery. The following month, Getty made its images available for free online in a non-commercial context. With an open embed tool, users can grab any image they want, as long as Getty gets a footer with a credit and link to the licensing page. The launch of Photos.com is a way of bringing in some extra cash and reminding consumers of Getty's historical legacy in the field of photography at a time when Instagram has made everyone a photographer.
Prices for prints start at $90.
[Image: David Redfern/Redferns]