Tool for journalists: Representation Matters, for royalty-free images that promote diversity


One of the free images provided by Representation Matters

Credit: Representation issues

What is that?

Representation Matters is a royalty-free image website focused on inclusion and diversity.


Free and paid subscriptions, as well as standalone purchases.

How is it useful for journalists?

Stock image sites can be a journalist’s best friend when it comes to finding an image that best illustrates your story.

Usually, journalists turn to trusted resources like Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels. But there is a stock image site that is a bit different from the others.

Representation issues offers images that go against the standards usually portrayed and reinforced in archival images: young, white, thin, heterosexual and able-bodied people.

The models and actors seen on this site represent different types of ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and body positivity.

So how can you start?

Representation Matters offers free and paid subscription options, or the ability to purchase images without registering.

By free registration, you can access three free images per month, with no obligation. These are sent straight to your inbox and are free for commercial use. (The image used in this article is an example).

It’s really that simple, but it does mean you’ll have to wait for the footage to come to you.

But if you need an image right now, it’s probably best to explore the site and find the right image for you. It works just like any other stock image site.

Hover over the “Browse” option in the main menu bar, and it will filter the search warrant by contributor, photos, artwork, session or always reliable search function. The latter is probably your best port of call.

From search, use keywords to find the image you want. Alternatively, there is a frequently used keywords section at the bottom of the home pagewhich can be a useful menu for choosing themes or getting an idea of ​​what’s available.

Keywords screenshot

Click on the category you want, and all media under that keyword will be displayed. With 52,000 images on body positivity alone, you can scroll through the results until you find something suitable. But you might want to narrow your search.

  • Tip: Use quotation marks for specific terms, for example “disability in sport”.
  • Or, use a ‘+’ or ‘-‘ before each word for any terms you wish to include or exclude, respectfully. That is, +disability +women, or +disability -men

By clicking on a resulting image, you will find options to share, comment or select the dimensions in which you want to download the image.

You can make this purchase as a one-time purchase, but there are also pricing plans available which will award you a reduced amount of credits to purchase images from the site. It’s good to know that different resolutions are worth different amounts of credit. Good hunt.

Know your copyright

There can be a lot of confusion around copyright, especially on social media and online, so it should be noted that while these images are royalty free, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are copyright free. access. In fact, it’s a common misconception, according to the site. very useful licensing guide.

Along with some FAQs, this provides essential reading for anyone unsure about the legality of copyrighted content and the ins and outs of licensed content.

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