As the official photographic agency and imagery supplier to the international Olympic and Paralympic Games, Getty Images is no stranger to using technology to deliver thousands of images from the competition, from the opening to the closing ceremony. This year, its role has been more important than ever before due to restrictions on attendees due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
For the first time, Getty Images has edited photos from the Olympic Games remotely, with over 50 editors live-editing from various locations around the world. Getty Images connects key photo positions from inside all 42 Olympic venues directly to the Getty Images office in the Main Press Center and to editors around the world in real-time. This enables a photograph to be taken at an event and then uploaded to the Getty database in as little as 30 seconds, empowering Getty Images’s global customer base to tell more immediate and impactful visual stories.
This has been utilized to great affect during Getty’s coverage of this year’s Paralympic Games.
Getty contributes significantly to the representation of the Paralympic Games worldwide, according to Ken Mainardis, its head of content. The brand “has a deep understanding of the role the Paralympic Games plays in dismantling stereotypes and increasing visibility for people with disabilities”.
“We could not be happier that Getty Images’s award-winning photographers will be covering the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, sharing thousands of stunning images to audiences around the world,” says Craig Spence, the IPC’s chief brand and communications officer.
“Over previous editions of the Paralympics, Getty Images has captured many iconic images of Paralympians in action, and Tokyo 2020 will be no different with its pictures telling the powerful stories of athletes and the beauty of the Games.”
Getty photographer Adam Pretty, who has been capturing both the Olympic and Paralympic Games for almost 20 years, speaks to The Drum about how this year’s Games has been different for photographers, athletes, fans – and the brands who sponsor it.
After the original 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games were postponed for a year due to the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pretty says the atmosphere in the venues this year differs greatly due to restrictions on crowds, contributing to increased tension in the arenas.
However, Pretty also notes that the limited crowds have actually made it a little easier to work as “you are more free to explore and experiment and can get in some positions that normally you couldn’t be in”.
As a frequent attendee of both the Olympics and Paralympics, Pretty also notes that the Paralympics this year seems to have garnered more attention than ever before. “Among the advertising, I think I am seeing more for the Paralympics. I know a lot of campaigns were canceled due to the situation, but there are still quite a lot around the city and on the public transport.”
Pretty’s observations follow major advertising pushes around the Paralympics, including Adam&Eve DDB’s ‘We the 15’, a 10-year-long campaign that aims to become the world’s biggest inclusivity movement for people with disabilities.