Getty Images and Climate Visuals Launch New Grant to Evolve the Visual Narratives that Define the Global Climate Crisis

January 16, 2020 • Company News

The Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants aim to transform depiction of complex climate issues to ensure greater efficacy, immediacy and drive positive change

London- January 16, 2020: Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, in partnership with Climate Visuals, the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography, has today announced the launch of the Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants, open to photojournalists from around the world who are working to advance the visual narratives that  define the global climate crisis.

Together, Getty Images and Climate Visuals aim to support the creation of new stories with compelling, colourful and emotionally powerful imagery that explores this complex crisis – its causes, effects and solutions. These Grants will enable the production of stories that have the integrity and immediacy needed to both raise awareness and inspire action that is vital in this current moment. As media coverage of the global climate crisis intensifies, Getty Images and Climate Visuals understand the need to meet and sustain that growing attention with nuanced photojournalism that advances and localises the world’s collective understanding of what is at stake. Imagery has the power to document events, communicate ideas, trigger emotion, prompt conversation, reveal truths and inspire real change. Professional image-makers need to harness all these qualities, to meet the challenge posed by global climate change and ensure imagery captured is not just documenting but is also inspiring conversation and driving behavioural change.

Two grants of $10,000 each, totaling $20,000, will be awarded to two photojournalists whose work focuses on the local impacts of- and solutions to- climate change, not simply the causes, which have historically been well represented in traditional news coverage. The photographer’s work must also demonstrate elements of the seven Climate Visuals Principles for climate change communication. Published by Climate Visuals and based on  social research into the efficacy of climate change imagery, the guidance includes: show real people; tell new stories; show climate change causes at scale; show emotionally powerful impacts; understand the audience; show local but serious impacts; demonstrate caution and care with protest imagery.

“Getty Images’ mission is to move the world with images,” said Ken Mainardis, Senior Vice President, Head of Content at Getty Images. “Photojournalism has the ability to not only educate the viewer but also provide a deeper understanding of how the climate crisis is effecting real people around the world in visceral ways. The most powerful photojournalism both tells a story and touches people’s hearts.

Mainardis continues: “We are thrilled to be further expanding our Grants program – even more so with an honorable and committed organization like Climate Visuals, who have already done so much work to strategically change the working practices of influential visual communicators across the world and to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change.”

“The Climate Visuals project was born from Climate Outreach recognising an urgent need for climate images that go beyond illustration to photography with a true and measurable impact on an audience.” said Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead.  “The foundation of our work is peer-reviewed evidence proving that the images most emblematic of climate change, such as polar bears and factories, are now broken tropes.  Distilled into our seven Climate Visuals Principles we offer guidance on producing new, salient and effective narratives.    This generous, timely and welcome grants partnership with Getty Images is an incredible opportunity for two photographers to produce or finish projects to a global standard with a focus on their audience, local climate issues and solutions – an opportunity to make a genuine difference.

Submissions will be judged by a prestigious industry-leading panel including;

  • Jay Davies, Director of Photography, Getty Images
  • Julie Doyle, Climate Communication Professor at Brighton University
  • Kate Manzo, Climate Change and Development Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University
  • Fiona Shields, Picture Editor, The Guardian
  • Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead at Climate Outreach and Environmental Photographer

The Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants is part of Getty Images’ wider grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.6 million to photographers and videographers around the world.

Applications will be accepted until Friday 28th February, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Entrants can apply online at

About Climate Visuals

Climate Visuals is a programme of Climate Outreach. Together they are Europe’s leading climate communication organisation – a team of social scientists and climate communication specialists based in Oxford UK, with 15 years of experience helping organisations widen and deepen engagement with climate change. They support their partners in communicating climate change in ways that resonate with the values of their audiences and create the types of climate conversations that lead to action, with world-leading advice and practical tools for engagement, combining scientific research methods with years of hands-on experience.

Climate Visuals is the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography.  Based on international social research and industry insights, Climate Visuals aims to strategically change the working practices of visual communicators across the world, to move away from clichéd images of polar bears, melting ice caps and factories, to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change.  Climate Visuals hosts an evidence based image reference library based on its publicly accessible 7 Climate Visuals Principles and peer-reviewed evidence which  uniquely positions their team to make informed, accurate and impactful decisions around climate change imagery.

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