The InCommon photo hub (www.incommonimages.org) contains more than 70,000 images featuring people aged from one to a hundred, and nature shots from skies to butterflies and trees to seas.
The pictures have been donated royalty free by professional and amateur photographers. Businesses and individuals are able to download and use images for a fee which is then donated to charity. Fees are typically less than existing commercial libraries. InCommon takes a small processing and production fee with the remaining profit going to charities.
Contributions come from well-known names like autistic author and academic Dr Temple Grandin and Joel Zwick, the American film director behind Good Will Hunting and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Never-seen pictures taken by iconic US broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite are also available.
The initiative, believed to be a global first, has been created by Richard and Michele Steckel, joint founders of registered US charity Milestones Project, which uses photography to achieve social change. The themes of the photo bank are wide, embracing people, diversity, sustainable living, environment, the arts, nature and many others. Contributions come from people of all ages, with a four-year-old girl the youngest photo donor.
“This is the beginning of a growing resource. We invite individuals, celebrities, charities, businesses and governments to donate images and to use them on their websites and publications,” said Richard Steckel. “Businesses will be keen to use the images to complement their CSR or community programmes. Meanwhile, organisations such as governments and other charities can now source relevant images in a way that also does some good.”
The initiative is being promoted and supported in the UK by sustainable behaviour change company Corporate Culture on a pro bono basis. Chairman John Drummond, who has also contributed to the image bank, is a trustee of the Milestones Project. He said: “How the profit is distributed to charities is negotiable so individuals and companies using pictures from the website can nominate their preferred charities.”
InCommon is also supported by business-led charity, Business in the Community (BITC), one of the largest and most influential leadership networks focused on driving responsible business practice. Jen Hartley, Head of Marketing, BITC, said of the launch: “Business in the Community is delighted to be associated with InCommon from the get go. We are looking forward to using the great images from the not-for-profit site, taken by real people in real situations across the globe. The images will help our campaigning work on creating a more sustainable future for all.
“Our work at BITC is about encouraging and inspiring businesses to be more responsible, and helping consumers to understand the positive role businesses can play in society. We will be working with InCommon to ensure that our visual marketing tells a story that words sometimes fail to do. I hope that many marketing teams from the corporate and NGO sectors use InCommon as a fabulous photography resource and enjoy knowing that the money generated is being invested back into good causes.
“It is a genuine social collaboration that I know will take off and we are delighted to support it.”
For further information, contact the founders Dr Richard and Michele Steckel on 011-720-299-3434 or email email@example.com
UK enquiries to John Drummond on 0845 607 0000, 07831 175907 or firstname.lastname@example.org