Surprised by Getty

One of the most memorable meetings we had in our first week was with Getty Images. Before meeting with them all I really knew about their company was that they owned thousands of stock images for people or companies to license out for their own use. What I was picturing was a series of meaningless, staged photos that people could sit down and search through to find what would be most useful to get their message across. I work for a handbook company in the summer and spend a lot of time looking at stock photos everyday and it’s not really something I find exciting. This made me wonder about the kind of people who work for Getty because the company I pictured in my head is not a company I would be too excited to work for.

When we spoke with the people at Getty it was a great surprise to learn what the company actually does. For starters, I didn’t realize the company employed its own photographers. I knew they owned all their images but it never really occurred to me how they obtained them. It also surprised me to learn what they took photos of. Like I said, I was picturing a company that owned staged stock photos of smiling teachers and kids on the playground but they really did a lot more photo journalism. They talked about how when something big happens they want to be first on the scene and get the first images which gave them a much more newsy feel to me than I had expected. For example, they told us they were one of the first agencies (if not the first) to capture images of the Ebola outbreak. I thought that was amazing because it showed me how dedicated they are to what they do and how important their mission is to them.

I thought the passion the employees had for their jobs was incredible. When we watched the video of the founder giving a talk it was so clear to me that he really believes in what the company does which is to capture images in order to tell a story. I really appreciated how he spoke about the power of imagery because the split second it takes someone to look at an image can tell them the same story as an article. The impact imagery can have is amazing and for someone to be able to capture that is really something to be proud of so I was really happy to hear how passionate the employees were about doing this work.

I definitely left Getty Images with a completely different outlook on the company than I went in with. I found it to be much more interesting than just stock images and stock film. The company really blew me away and I’m really glad we had a meeting with them. I think it may have been one of my top companies we have visited yet and I think that is mostly because of how much the employees loved their jobs. It’s reassuring to see that people have jobs that they love and I think Getty is very fortunate to have those people working for them.

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